Illustrated Dictionary of British Churches - Ambulatory Definition

History and Architecture

Ambulatory

Literally a place for walking, an ambulatory is a covered passage. Such passages are found around the outside of monastic cloisters, but in church architecture the term usually refers to a walkway behind the high altar, linking it with chapels at the east end of the church and with aisles either side of the chancel. On the continent ambulatories were often apsidal (curved) in shape, while in England they were more commonly squared, with right-angle corners.

Related: Altar   Chancel  

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