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WikiProject Architecture (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
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Plain corbels[edit]

"Norman (Romanesque) corbels often have a plain appearance" Is this statement actually true? The majority of Norman corbels I have seen are usualy carved in some manner even if only in a basic way. It might be safer to say that Romanesque corbels range from the plain to the richly carved. Pryderi 17:27, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes - there are probably plenty of plain ones, but it is the richly decorated ones "as at" All Saints, Lullington, and SS Mary & David, Kilpeck which catch the eye. G4oep


" Norman corbels generally have a plain appearance. In the Early English period they sometimes became elaborately carved, as at Lincoln, and sometimes more simply so, as at Stone. "

Which one? Stone, Buckinghamshire, Stone,_Gloucestershire , Stone,_Kent, Stone,_Staffordshire, or Stone, Worcestershire???

SiGarb 15:04, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

I've moved the stone link into the hidden comment as the disambiguation link wasn't helping anyone. Note that the Old French origin of the word is taken from Chambers Concise Dictionary. In Scots language "corbie" means raven or crow, but that didn't really fit into this article. ...dave souza: talk 19:31, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

"as at"[edit]

These "as at" comments, which the 1911 Britannica articles on architecture seem to specialise in, are very unhelpful. "As at Lincoln… as at Stone… as at Winchester" all appeared in this article. Both Lincoln and Winchester are large cities and must have many mediaeval buildings with corbels. Which building was the original writer referring to? And there are 5 places named Stone in the UK: exactly which building, in which Stone, did they mean? SiGarb | Talk 18:48, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Removing images[edit]

I have reduced the number of images in the main text by moving the long, narrow ones to the gallery, as they piled up at the side of the page and overlaid the gallery when viewed at a medium screen width.

I am also removing the following images completely, for the following reasons:

This one is so detailed it is likely to be made of wood, not stone, and is therefore not strictly a corbel. Also, without being able to see the structure it is supporting, it simply appears to be an elaborate sculpture
While it's nice to have a Japanese example, these are also wood, and are at the top of pillars, not jutting out from a wall, so they aren't corbels as such

SiGarb | Talk 21:24, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

The Defining Principle[edit]

I became interested in corbelling after crawling into the wonderfully preserved (or restored) Neolithic long barrow, or chambered tomb near Wellow, Somerset ( Sitting in the final chamber, and looking up to the corbelled vault of the roof, I was not exactly anxious about my safety (it had stood for 5000years, so would presumably last a few more minutes), but uncertain about how the system works. The present Wikki article includes this in the lead "The technique of corbelling, where rows of corbels deeply keyed inside a wall support a projecting wall or parapet... " suggests to me that the idea behind corbelling is that the projecting slabs or blocks act as cantilevers, the force applied to their outer part being counteracted by the moment of the weight of the wall above the point of insertion, this weight acting on the embedded part. If this is the basic principle of a corbel (the deep insertion being vital for stability), then the so-called corbelled dome illustrated in the main article cannot be a true example of corbelling, since the walls of the house do not rise above the springing-point of the dome. There is no insertion of the higher 'corbels' into a side-wall, or significant weight above any of them to provide the required counter-moment. It seems likely that, in engineering terms, this example is actually a voussoired dome similar to the trulli of Apulia ( It would be helpful if a qualified civil engineer were to comment on this, and to clarify what the essential idea of a corbel actually is. Related structures which probably do not rely on the principle of corbelling (though they might appear to do so) are bottle kilns (, the supporting brick-work cone of the dome of St Paul's London, and the concrete dome of the Pantheon (Rome). These are all self-supporting structures in which the internal forces due to the weight of the material are restrained by its cohesive (tensile or shear) strength, reinforced in some cases by iron bands or chains. They do not depend on external walls, butresses or abutments as do corbelled arches & true arches. G4oep