Last edited 20 May 2021

Hood mould

Formerly Barony House, the music block at St Bees School in the West Cumbrian village of St Bees, England, is known as the Fox Music Centre. It is a rendered Victorian building with rectangular hood mouldings and label stops.


[edit] Introduction

The Penguin Dictionary of Architecture (third edition) was published in 1980. It was created for Penguin Reference and compiled by John Fleming, Hugh Honour and Nikolaus Pevsner.

It defines a hood mould as: ‘A projecting moulding to throw off the rain, on the face of a wall, above an arch, doorway or window; can be called dripstone or, if rectangular, a label.’

It may also be referred to as a drip mould (positioned over something other than an archway), a label or a label mould.

[edit] Purpose

From the side, a hood mould may have an upper surface that angles downward and includes a recessed space that serves to direct drips away from the opening.

At its lower ends, the hood mould may terminate on a column capital. It may also be finished with another moulding structure referred to as a label stop. A label stop can be a boss that is plain or decorative.

[edit] History

The hood mould initially appeared during the Romanesque period. It was used to protect carved mouldings from erosion and other damage caused by rain.

Eventually, the hood mould became a highly decorative feature, particularly important during the Gothic period. Hood moulds appear above many external arches found in Gothic structures built in much of Europe. In England, they were also used over interior arches - commonly those above nave arcades.

With the introduction of rectangular windows for residential buildings, hood moulds were adapted for domestic architecture.

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