Illustrated Architecture Dictionary
AKA: step(ped) gable / corbie gable / corbie step gable / crow gable
A stair-step type of design at the top of the triangular gable-end of a building.This is a type of parapet wall.
Early examples, from the 15th century onwards, are found in England, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, and Sweden.
The step gable is a feature of the northern-renaissance revival styles.
The idea for fancy gables seems to have originated in places like Amsterdam in Holland or Lubeck in Germany where many buildings have their gable ends overlooking canals and quaysides.
The earliest designs of fancy gables consisted of a series of brick steps along the top diagonal edges of the gables. These so-called crow-stepped (or corbie gables) of the late Tudor period were superseded by styles that consisted mainly of curves, now often referred to as Dutch gables.
- Wayside Art in East Anglia (May 2012)