What is a corbel brick?

In architecture, a corbel is a piece of wood, metal, or brick that is embedded deep inside a wall and juts out to support the weight above.

Corbels come in all different shapes, sizes, and materials, from red brick corbels, to long, wooden beam corbels.

Corbeling can be functional or decorative, but you’ll usually find it is a combination of the two.

A few features of architecture that often use corbels for support include:

  • Chimneys
  • Balconies
  • Turrets
  • Window sills
  • Eaves
  • Ceiling
  • Beam
  • Shelf

Corbels can also be used to create archways. This is done by creating two columns of corbels. In each column many corbels are placed on top of each other unevenly, with each one projecting beyond the one below until an archway is formed.

History of corbels

Corbelling is a common technique used around the world and dating back to Neolithic times! It can commonly be seen in gothic, Chinese, Victorian, medieval and classical architecture.

In gothic and medieval architecture, corbels often have very intricate designs featuring angels, beasts and gargoyles.

You won’t often spot decorative corbels on new builds, this is because the focus in modern architecture is now on creating affordable and functional buildings, rather than lavish ones.

Reclaimed corbel bricks

At Beeston Reclamation we have many reclaimed, decorative corbel bricks available to buy for using to restore era houses back to their former glory.

Even if your home has never featured decorative corbels, adding corbel bricks during a restoration project or repair job is an excellent way to add character and give your property a new lease of life.

Browse our selection of reclaimed bricks.