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- an arched ceiling or roof, usually of stone, brick, or concrete, which in its most basic form, is a continuous semi-circular arch ie a tunnel. As romanesque evolved into gothic and the pointed arch, vault construction became very sophisticated and because of its fireproof potential, comparatively widespread. The main parts of ecclesiastical buildings, were of different heights and widths, meaning that ribs had to be of varying forms and eventually, vault construction progressed to involve a framework of ribs infilled with stone or brick.

Barrel vault - the simplest vault, also called a wagon or tunnel vault. A continuous vault usually semi-circular in section.
Boss - a knob or projection covering the intersection of ribs, usually decorated or carved, very often foliated.
Cell - a compartment contained by ribs, usually infilled in stone, latterly in brick. Also known as a webb.
Cross vault - where two barrel vaults of identical shape intersect at right angles. Also known as a groined vault.
Fan vault - resembles a fan! Constructed in concave ribs of equal length, which spring from a central point. The ribs meet, or nearly meet at the apex or crown of the vault.
Groin - sharp edges where surfaces meet in a groin vault, not covered by ribs.
Stelar vaulting - a name given to vaults where the ribs converge in star - like patterns.
Rib - the projecting band on a vault ceiling, usually structural, can be decorative.
Transverse arch - the arch which separates one bay of a vault from another, often decorated.