Barge-board (or Verge-board)

Barge-Board (Or Verge-Board)

is a board generally used on the verge of gables where the covering of the roof extends over the wall. It usually projects from the wall, and either covers the rafter, that would otherwise be exposed, or occupies the place of a rafter. On the gables of houses and church-porches, particularly on those of wood, barge-boards are very extensively used, but on the gables of the main roofs of churches they occur very rarely. The earliest barge- boards known to exist are of the 14th century. After that time they were used most abundantly, and were of very various designs, and in later examples they not unfrequently supported a hip-knob on the point of the gable. They are usually either feathered or panelled, or pierced with a series of trefoils, quatrefoils, etc., and the spandrels carved with foliage; when feathered, the cusps or points of the principal featherings sometimes have flowers carved on them. As Gothic architecture advanced, the barge- boards continued gradually to lose much of their rich and bold effect.

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