Pinnacles are typically made of stone and predominantly used for ornamental purposes, providing vertical emphasis breaking up hard outlines. In the case of some buildings, such as the Milan Duomo, they are topped with statues.
They can also serve a secondary structural purpose, crowning the piers of flying buttresses, where, being very heavy and often rectified with lead, they improve the stability of the buttresses, helping to counteract the lateral thrust of the vault, and shifting it downwards to the foundations.
Simple pinnacles were originally used on Romanesque churches, often as a means of distracting from the often abrupt transition from a square tower to a polygonal spire.
They became more common in Gothic architecture, where they were used in a much more decorative way, found at every major corner of a building, as well as on flanked gables and decorated parapets and buttresses.
Notable examples are to be found on Notre Dame in Paris, and the 24 m (80 ft) pinnacles of Reims Cathedral.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
This week's employment opportunities totalling more than £50K of annual income. For applicants or employers - IHBC Jobs etc is the first place to visit.
Visit the Speakers’ webpage which highlights speakers and topic areas, so now prospective delegates can see the theme and topic areas relate to their CPD priorities.
Historic Environment Scotland has launched a new ‘Guidance Note, Managing Change in the Historic Environment’ on windows as part of a series of non-statutory notes.
Historic England commissioned research in 2017 into whether their written advice and guidance provides the right information to the right audiences in the most effective way.
The Culture Media and Sport Select Committee reports on the potential impact of Brexit on the creative, tourism and digital industries.
Designs for spherical concert venue are set to add even more diversity to the capitals ‘suggestive skyline’, the Guardian reports.