Squinch, or Sconce
Squinch, Or Sconce
a small arch or projecting course of stone formed across the angle of a tower, etc., in Gothic architecture, to support the alternate sides of octagonal spires, lanterns, etc., above. Sometimes the overhanging side of the spire or octagon is supported by a series of projecting courses of stone (as at Tong, Salop), which answer the same purpose as the arches, but are more substantial because they have no tendency to expand the walls, which is always to be feared when the arch squinch is used. The straight squinch is often employed externally, as at St. Cross, where it is used to carry the alure, or parapet walk, across the angle at the junction of the choir and transept with the tower. The construction of the arched squinch, or trompe, was a favorite exercise with the French professors of the art of stone cutting.