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.
This term is more particularly applied to the supports of heavy superstructures, whether of simple, square, or octagonal plan, or with engaged shafts forming an integral part of the main structure. The term is more generally used with regard to Gothic or Romanesque architecture than to Classic, wherein the term column is usually applied to such cylindrical bodies.
The pier may be, as above stated, either plain or with detached shafting connected at the base and caps with a main trunk, or with shafts attached thereto (see Fig. 152).