A gate is an entrance in a fence or wall; it usually swings on hinges. The default heraldic gate is a “corral gate”, sometimes called a “field-gate” or “farm-gate”; this is sometimes explicitly blazoned. The gate is drawn as a barred wooden frame, not solid like a door. It’s found in the arms of von Haxthausen, 1605 [Siebmacher 186]. The gate’s “proper” coloration, as with all wooden charges, is brown.
There is also the “gateway”, two huge doors hinged on towers; the charge is unique to Society armory, and is no longer permitted. See also door, drawbridge, portcullis.
The Shire of Caversgate bears: Sable, a gate within and conjoined to a stone archway within a laurel wreath Or.
Eric of Coppergate bears: Argent, a farm gate within an orle engrailed gules.
A fountain is a spring of water. The term may refer to a stylized heraldic charge, or to a naturalistic structure. The unmodified term refers to an heraldic charge, found in the arms of Stourton, 1411 [DBA2 391], and defined as a “roundel barry wavy argent and azure”. When used in a blazon, it’s unnecessary to specify the fountain’s tinctures; as with bezants, the tinctures are part of the definition. If tinctures other than azure and argent are used, the whole must be explicitly blazoned: i.e., one does not blazon a “fountain vert and Or”, but rather a “roundel barry wavy vert and Or.”
When specified as “natural” or “of three tiers”, the term refers to a stonework edificespouting water. It too is a period charge, found in the arms of de Fontana, mid-15th C. [Triv 146], and of Newpruner, 1605 [Siebmacher 218]. The natural fountain doesn’t have defined tinctures, as the heraldic fountain does: they must be explicitly blazoned. For related charges, see roundel, well.
The Baron of Fontaine dans Sable bears: Argent, in pale a three-tiered fountain sable spouting azure and a laurel wreath vert.
Yseulte Trevelyn bears: Gules, three fountains.
Um Rashid Kathira bears: Or chapé ployé counter-ermine, a fountain.
A fireplace is an open place in a room’s wall, lined with brick, in which fires may be lit to warm the room. The fire is evidently blazoned explicitly. Though a period artifact, the fireplace has not been adduced in period armory. See also edifice.
Kalida Ivanovna bears: Sable, within a fireplace argent, masoned sable, flames of fire proper.
A fence is an enclosure around a field or piece of land, less massive or permanent than a wall, and usually made of wood or similar material. In period armory, the typical form was a wattle fence, drawn as wicker branches woven around posts; this form is found in the arms of Stapfer, 1605 [Siebmacher 199]. The wattle fence is also blazoned a “weir” or “yair”, which in period was submerged in streams and used to trap fish; it’s found in the canting arms of Zare, 1542 [Lindsay].
In Society armory, there’s one example of a fence made from “park pales”: closely set pointed stakes, modernly called a picket fence. The illustration is taken from Parker , who cites the use of park pales in several armories; but none have been dated to period. See also edifice.
George Warde bears: Vert, a weir Or.
Edelgard Erzsébet von Württemberg bears as a badge: Between the peaks of a mountain of two peaks argent issuant from park pales gules a hurst of trees proper.
Edifices are usually made of stone, and may be drawn as masoned even when this is not explicitly blazoned. (For that reason, it needn’t be blazoned.) There was tremendous variation in the period depiction of edifices: a given emblazon might be blazoned in several ways, and a given blazon rendered with equal looseness. As a rule of thumb, those edifices with doors tended to have the door facing the viewer by default.
Some edifices, particularly castles and towers, may have special roofs which must be blazoned: a “spired tower” has a conical roof, a “domed tower” a hemispherical roof. (Sometimes the latter is drawn “onion-domed”, as found on mosques.)
A drawbridge is a type of bridge with a section of its span able to be raised or lowered. It was typically used to control access to a castle or other fortification. The drawbridge is a period charge, found in the canting arms of da Ponte, mid-15th C. [Triv 278]. By default, it’s depicted as though seen from above. See also door, gate.
Illuminada Eugenia de Guadalupe y Godoy bears as a badge: Sable, a drawbridge Or.
A door is an entrance to a room or edifice. It is hinged along one side, and usually has a ringed handle or a keyhole on the other. It is left to the artist whether the hinged side is on the dexter or sinister side of the door.
The door may be drawn without a frame, as in the arms of Portinari, c.1475 [Huntington Library art collection]; however, in period emblazons, the door is more frequently found inset into an arch or wall. The canting arms of Portenau or Portnaw, c.1460 [GATD 18], with open double-doors hinged on an arch, was a common heraldic motif for doors.
A dome is an edifice, or more precisely, a portion of an edifice: a hollow hemispherical vault, supported on its outer edges by a circular wall. Domes were found from Roman times, as on the Pantheon, AD 112; by Renaissance times the dome had become a usual architectural feature of a cathedral or mosque.
As an heraldic charge, the dome appears to be unique to Society armory: in such instances, only the dome itself is depicted, with very little of its supporting building. The illustration is taken from Brunelleschi’s dome for the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence, c.1430 [EB VIII:397].
Andrew of Seldom Rest bears as a badge: Gules, on a bend Or a selle sable, a dome vert, and a rest azure.
A dolmen is an edifice erected by the ancient Britons and Celts, consisting of a large flat stone laid across upright stones (called “menhirs”). Modern scholars still debate as to the purpose of dolmens: suggestions include tombs, monuments, altars, or observatories (probably a combination of these). We have no examples of the dolmen in period heraldry, but as a period artifact, it’s acceptable in Society armory.
The Society’s default dolmen is a trilithon: two uprights and one crosspiece. It is occasionally so blazoned, and certainly any other number of uprights or crosspieces must be explicitly blazoned. Society armory also has examples of menhirs standing alone.
A cornice is an architectural feature, consisting of a molded projection from a wall or pillar. As the term is used in the Society, it refers specifically to the molded frame of a decorative window; the period heraldic example, the arms of de Bolonia, mid-15th C. [Triv 64; cf. BSB 270:185, c.1550] depicts a four-lobed quadrate frame consistent with Gothic tracery. See also edifice, foil.
Lyonnette Cheneval bears: Gules, a four lobed quadrate cornice Or.
Alienor de Montserrat bears: Sable, a lily within a four lobed quadrate cornice argent.
Vigdís Gráfeldr bears as a badge: A raven sable within and conjoined to a four lobed quadrate cornice gules.