Illustrated Dictionary of British Churches - Bay Definition

History and Architecture

Bay

A vertical division of a building. In church architecture the term usually refers to the division of the nave into sections. In Norman architecture the divisions are often marked by tall shafts extending from floor to ceiling, though later a bay could be marked by pairs of columns or pillars. When stone vaultied ceilings replaced earlier wooden ones, bay shafts (or groups of clustered shafts) terminated in a capital which supported the vaulting. The vaulting istelf could be divided into bays by ribs. It is common to refer to a church or section of a church by the number of bays, such as 'a three-bay nave'. That might suggest that bays were a form of standard measure, but in truth a bay could be any width or height.

Related: Capital   Nave   Vaulting  

Attraction search
in



English Heritage

English Heritage membership

English Heritage membership

Free entry to English Heritage properties throughout England, plus discounted admission to Historic Scotland and Cadw properties in Scotland and Wales.

Membership details

About English Heritage


HISTORY CORNER
Name the mystery historic attraction
See larger image



This ransom was first paid during the reign of Aethelred the Unready to prevent Danish attack



10 April, 1710

Copyright becomes law in UK

The first copyright law was established in the 1709 Act for the Encouragement of Learning

This monarch died at Pontefract Castle in Yorkshire, in early 1400, probably of starvation



Passionate about British Heritage!