Illustrated Dictionary of British Churches

History and Architecture

Corbel Head

A corbel is a projection, usually of stone, that acts a base for an arch or roof timber, transfering the weight of the timber to a wall or pillar. These projecting corbels are often carved with heads, or faces, hence the term 'corbel head'. The carvings are sometimes human, sometimes religious figures, but frequently they are peculiar or grotesque beasts or mythological creatures, very often with humourous or frightening facial expressions. You often see corbel heads 'orphaned' projecting out from aan interior church wall without any apparent timber nearby. These stranded corbels were left behind when the interior was rebuilt, or a roof was raised.

Related: Grotesque   Arch   Base  

Attraction search

National Trust

National Trust membership

National Trust membership

Free entry to National Trust properties throughout England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, plus discounted admission to National Trust for Scotand properties.

Membership details

About the National Trust

Name the mystery historic attraction
See larger image

This politician is generally regarded as the first Prime Minister

24 March, 1603

Death of Elizabeth I

Elizabeth's death at Richmond Palace led to the succession of James VI of Scotland as James I of England

This queen's second husband, Lord Darnley, was murdered, possibly with her knowledge

Passionate about British Heritage!