Illustrated Dictionary of British Churches

History and Architecture

Crypt

A underground (or partly underground) chamber, usually located beneath the chancel, for holy relics and burials. Crypts could be extremely large and might contain one or more altars in separate chapels. Crypts might hold the shrine of a saint, and thus woulds have to be large enough to accommodate pilgrims coming to pray at the shrine. Most cathedrals have sizeable crypts, while one of the best preserved crypts in a parish church is at Lastingham, Yorkshire.

Related: Chancel  

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