voussoir

1) This French word is found from 1359-60 in building accounts, mostly in connection with churches where it was used for the shaped vault stones of an arch. It must also have been used of arches in bridge building but is not recorded in that sense in the OED until 1739.

When Elland Bridge was built of stone in 1579, the request was for the vassers to be sett forthe on ether side of the arches. In the estimate for rebuilding Clapham Bridge in 1747, one of the items was for vausers getting . The past participle is on record from 1875 in an adjectival sense meaning ‘constructed with voussoirs’, and this reference can be compared with the following item in a Halifax building contract over 200 years earlier: 1648 all to be a yard longe and a foote wide, vocered over and captablde.

spellings vauser vasser
dates 1579 1648 1747

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