Graphical Construction Glossary >> masonry. >> stonework >> Stone Corbel

A masonry unit that projects out from the face of a wall, chimney or pillar. Or a series of such steps used to support an overhanging member
Stone Corbel
A masonry corbel that projects out from the face of a wall. Particularly to bear a specific load, as in a roof truss.

corbel locations
A section through a hammer beam roof showing the position of the corbels

a stone corbel
a stone corbel

Corbels are built into the masonry as the work progresses and they are part and parcel of the design. In modern times we rarely see them; but up until say 80 years ago they were an indispensable part of the building process.

Can you image trying to fix a roof truss like in the sketch above if the brickie had forgotten the corbels? So what you see above is a representation of a large open span hammer beam roof truss. In it you can see that I have detailed a corbel on the inside of the wall and also one on the outside.

An inside single corbel is shown on the right. One of the corbels holding up the roof at Eltham Court Palace, London UK.

The outside corbels more often take the form of a corbel course to fill in the eaves.

Below Right is another single corbel stone that is supporting a large timber floor beam. The timber that sits directly on top of the stone, which helps to spread the load on the floor bearer itself is called a timber corbel.

Below is a corbel that is one of a pair supporting a canopy over an entrance door. Seen in Amsterdam.

Below that again are stone corbels arranged in pairs helping to support a roof overhang, also in Amsterdam.

 a corbel supporting a canopy

large stone corbels in pairs

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