Church porch

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The highly decorated two-storey porch of St Mary's, Yatton, England[1][2]

A church porch is a room-like structure at a church's main entrance.[3] A porch protects from the weather to some extent. Some porches have an outer door, others a simple gate, and in some cases the outer opening is not closed in any way.

The porch at St Wulfram's Church, Grantham, like many others of the period, has a room above the porch. It once provided lodging for the priest, but now houses Francis Trigge Chained Library. Such a room is sometimes called a parvise[4] although that word more normally means an open space or colonnade outside the entrance of a church.

In Scandinavia and Germany the porch of a church is often called by names meaning weaponhouse.[5] It used to be believed that visitors stored their weapons there because of a prohibition against carrying weapons into the sanctuary, or into houses in general[6]; this is now considered apocryphal by most accepted sources, and the weaponhouse is considered more likely to have functioned as a guardroom or armoury to store weapons in case of need[7].


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England North Somerset and Bristol (Penguin, 1979), p. 352.
  2. ^ Images of England (accessed 3 September 2009)
  3. ^ "Historic Churches > Dictionary". British Express. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  4. ^ Baron Grimthorpe, Edmund Beckett (1856). Lectures on Church-building: with Some Practical Remarks on Bells and Clocks. Bell and Daldy. p. 198.
  5. ^ For example, Norwegian våpenhus
  6. ^ Harrison, James A.; Sharp, Robert, eds. (January 2006). "Project Gutenberg's Beowulf". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 14 August 2007. (Note l. 325. Cf. l. 397.)
  7. ^

External links[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Church porches at Wikimedia Commons