Boss (medieval architecture)
In medieval architecture, a boss is a stone or timber knob or protrusion, most commonly found in ceilings at the location of keystones in vaulting, expressing the junction between the intersecting ribs. Their original purpose was to conceal the complex mitred joints.
They are typically intricately carved with decorative features such as foliage, heraldic devices, animals, faces, and so on.
Bosses are commonly found in the medieval architecture of England rather than France, which is believed to be due to the greater height of French naves. By the 14th century, very ornate bosses were carved that depicting a series of narrative scenes. In the 15th century, fan vaulting was developed with long, pendant-like bosses.
Famous examples of bosses can be found in Westminster Abbey, London.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
One of the IHBC’s most populous Schools, the 2019 Nottingham School will be remembered for its combination authoritative speakers, urban experiences and accessible learning, including the IHBC’s Spotlights.
A UK parliamentary petition to Zero-rate VAT on deep retrofit/eco-refurbishment building works on all homes, has been launched, with a deadline of 8 January 2020.
The IHBC has launched two new Guidance Notes, on Retrofitting of Traditional Buildings and Climate Change and Older Buildings – Key Sources.
The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) has announced the opening of the ‘Transforming Places Through Heritage’ fund, focussed on reinvigorating England’s high streets.
A race against devastation - a new exhibition chronicles the wartime work of the National Buildings Record – set up to capture a disappearing landscape.