Post and lintel

Post and lintel

:" For lintel as a decorative element see Lintel (architecture)":" For beam as load-bearing member see beam"

Post and lintel (synonymous with Post and beam and also called an Architrave [cite web
] ) is a simple construction technique, also called "post and beam", where a horizontal member (the lintel—or header) is supported by two vertical posts at either end. This very simple form is commonly used to support the weight of the structure located above the openings in a bearing wall created by windows and doors.

The biggest disadvantages to this type of construction is the limited weight that can be held up, and the small distances required between the posts. Roman developments of the arch allowed for much larger structures to be constructed.

There are two main forces vectors acting upon the post and lintel system: weight carrying compression at the joint between lintel and post, and tension induced by deformation of self-weight and the load above between the posts. The two posts are under compression from the weight of the lintel (or beam) above. The underside of the lintel is under tension, and will deform concave up while the topside is under compression.


A "lintel" or "header" is a horizontal beam used in the construction of buildings, and is a major architectural contribution of ancient Greece. It usually supports the masonry above a window or door opening. (Also sometimes spelled 'lintol', 'lintil',' lyntil'.)when it was made there was no glass to put in the window so rain could get in if there was a storm.

Lintels may be made of wood, stone, steel or reinforced or pre tensioned concrete.

For example, at Stonehenge, stone lintels top off some of the megaliths. In typical homes today, lintels are commonly used in fireplaces where one will span the opening of the firebox. In this use they are most often steel, either straight for a square opening or arched for a more decorative effect.


In architecture, a "trabeated" system or order (from Latin "trabs", "beam"; influenced by "trabeatus", clothed in the "trabea", a ritual garment) refers to the use of horizontal beams or lintels which are borne up by columns or posts. It is the opposite of the arcuated system, which involves the use of arches.

The trabeated system is a fundamental principle of Neolithic architecture, Ancient Greek architecture and Ancient Egyptian architecture. Other trabeated styles are the Persian, Lycian, nearly all the Indian styles, the Chinese, Japanese and South American styles.

A noteworthy example of a trabeated system is in Volubilis, from the Roman era, where one side of the Decumanus Maximus is lined with trabeated elements, while the opposite side of the roadway is designed in arched style.

In India the style was used origninally for wooden constructions, but later the technique was adopted for stone structures for decorative rather than load-bearing purposes.

ee also

*Atalburu (Basque house lintels)
*Beam (structure)
*Lintel (architecture)
*Structural design
*Timber framing


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • POST-AND-LINTEL —    The earliest, simplest method for spanning a space is the post and lintel system of upright posts to support a horizontal beam, called a lintel. The width of the lintel is limited not only by its tensile strength, but also by the length of the …   Historical Dictionary of Architecture

  • post-and-lintel system — ▪ architecture       in building construction, a system in which two upright members, the posts, hold up a third member, the lintel, laid horizontally across their top surfaces. All structural openings have evolved from this system, which is seen …   Universalium

  • post and lintel —    In architecture, the simplest and oldest way of constructing an opening. Two vertical structural members called posts were used to support a horizontal member called a lintel or beam, creating a covered space …   Glossary of Art Terms

  • post and lintel — noun a structure consisting of vertical beams (posts) supporting a horizontal beam (lintel) • Hypernyms: ↑structure, ↑construction …   Useful english dictionary

  • post-and-lintel — | ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷| ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷ adjective : of or relating to a system of architectural construction based on vertical supports and horizontal beams as distinguished from systems based on arches or vaults …   Useful english dictionary

  • post-and-beam system — In building construction, a system in which two upright members, the posts, hold up a third member, the beam, laid horizontally across their top surfaces. In Britain it is called post and lintel system, but in the U.S. lintel is usually reserved… …   Universalium

  • post-and-beam construction — /poʊst ən ˈbim kənstrʌkʃən/ (say pohst uhn beem kuhnstrukshuhn) noun a constructional system in which the load is borne by the posts and beams, and not by the walls. Also, post and lintel construction …  

  • Lintel (architecture) — A lintel is defined as a horizontal block that spans the space between two supports in classical western architecture. [cite web url= medart/menuglossary/lintel.htm title=Glossary of Medieval Art and Architecture Lintel… …   Wikipedia

  • Lintel (Osterholz-Scharmbeck) — Wappen Deutschlandkarte …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • lintel — [14] Lintel is the result of the blending of two Latin words: līmes ‘boundary’ (source of English limit) and līmen ‘threshold’ (source of English subliminal and possibly also of sublime). Līmen had a derived adjective, līmināris ‘of a threshold’ …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

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