Illustrated Dictionary of British Churches

History and Architecture


A projecting entry to a church, usually located at the south west end of the nave and thus commonly called a south porch. Early churches, particularly Saxon churches, did not have porches, and people entred directly into the nave. Porches became common in the Norman period, and could be extremely ornate and highly decorative, some rising several stories high. Larger porches might have a small chamber above the entrance, used by the priest. Most porches are built of stone, though some medieval examples of timber porches still stand.

Related: Nave  

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