skip to main page content :: Town & Regional Planning Home > Glossary Home > D >


- a doorway includes opening door and surrounds, the doorcase, which can take a variety of forms, having consistently evolved with the architectural styles of the time. They can be arched, rectangular, deeply recessed, flush, bipartite, tripartite etc. Basically the doorcase is there for decoration but also prevents water running down the walls into the door.

A door made of vertical timbers only held together by a number of horizontal timbers or ledges is a "ledged door". In Scotland, ledges are sometimes referred to as bars hence, bar the door? If such a door also has diagonal supports or braces, it is described as "ledged and braced". All of this was then "squared up" to form the panelled door. What is generally regarded as the classic Georgian door usually has six panels, but eight or ten panels per door is not uncommon. The panels fit into mouldings on the rails and styles and allow for moisture movement. They also assist in accommodating the stresses within the door. Basically at its top, a door will tend to pull apart, while nearer the bottom, all the weight presses downwards.

The door can be one of most significant features of a building, and the furniture, handles, hinges, latches, finger plates, letter boxes etc can be of interest in its own right. Doors are said to be handed either right or left, depending on which side they are hung. If, when facing a door which opens away from you, the handle is on the right side, the door is right handed, if the handle is on the left, it is left handed. An overdoor is not actually a door, but is the name given to any pedimented feature above a doorway.

- see architrave, jamb, reveal.

Door stop - projecting strip on the door frame against which the door closes.
Door sill or storm bar - bar fitted to the bottom rail, designed to keep out rain.
Muntin - vertical central part of the door between panels.
Plinth block - squared blocks on which the architrave sits.
Rails - the horizontal members of a door between panels. From the top downwards in a six panelled door these would be, toprail (sometimes referred to as the head), frieze rail, locking rail (sometimes known as a belt rail), bottom rail.
Rebate - the part of the door concealed by the doorstop.
Style - vertical members at each side of a panelled door, ie hanging style and shutting style.