This section is from the book "Modern Buildings, Their Planning, Construction And Equipment Vol5", by G. A. T. Middleton. Also available from Amazon: Modern Buildings.
Bases are near akin to plinth moulds in their general characteristics, more especially where employed externally. Their mouldings should be designed to protect the stone below from injury by wet, and also with a view to prevent lodgment either of rain or dust.
With those used for internal purposes the need for guarding against the lodgment of rain does not apply, and therefore the application of deeply under-cut members is admissible and even advisable, as giving great artistic results from the contrasts of light and shadow thereby presented to the eye. A few examples are shown in Fig. 153.
When circular bases rest on square pedestals, they either overhang or else the corners are filled with a carved enrichment, as in Fig. 154.
Caps, although not always used, have a distinct value in intercepting the lines of the arch mouldings, and acting as a stop, more especially where the arch mould is not continued down as a pier and a different plan is applied to the latter.
In some cases, however, the use of the cap may be dispensed with, as, for instance, where a plain cylindrical pier meets a series of arch moulds or vault ribs and the moulds are allowed to die into the contour of the cylindrical face (see Fig. 154).
Caps, generally speaking, and using the term as applied to Gothic buildings, admit of an infinite variety of both form and decoration.
The more simple forms comprise a rounded necking as the lower member with a salient intermediate, and with a moulded abacus, or even a plain table, square on the face, but following the general plan of the pier of which it forms the finish.
An elaboration of this is produced by carving the intermediate span or belt. A few examples are shown in Fig. 157.
Examples are also given in Fig. 155, which illustrates, the doorway of Tooting Wesleyan Church, where the mouldings of the archway are shown dying into the reveal of the buttresses on either side, each mould and member being carried on in its regular sweep until it meets the vertical face of the buttress, which here may be taken to act as a pier. The stones of the buttress would in this instance be cut in the rough, of sufficient projection where the springing of the mouldings occurs to take up a portion of the arch and form on the front face a joint or series of joints radiating from the arch centre. It may be noted that the covered porch formed by this large arch serves to protect the outward opening door against the inclemency of the weather.
Figs. 150 and 155, reduced from Mr. Gibson's working half-inch scale drawings, are admirable illustrations of the way in which such drawings should be prepared for the mason's use.
In the above cases the vertical wall is square on plan, and the junction is much more simple, therefore, than where vertical cylindrical faces have to be met. An example of a moulding dying on to a splay is shown in Fig. 158.