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A pend in Edinburgh

Pend is a Scottish architectural term referring to a passageway that passes through a building, often from a street through to a courtyard, and typically designed for vehicular rather than exclusively pedestrian access.[1]

A pend is distinct from a vennel or a close, as it has rooms directly above it, whereas vennels and closes are not covered over but rather are passageways between separate buildings.

The OED suggests that the etymology of the word is probably related to the archaic verb pend - "arch, arch over, vault", this in turn being derived from the French pendre, Latin pendēre "to hang"[2]


  1. ^ Town and Regional Planning Programme, University of Dundee. "Conservation Glossary, entry for "pend"". Retrieved 2008-05-12. 
  2. ^ OED, online edition, draft revision December 2007, entries for pend, n2 and pend, v2