Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Gallery, in Elizabethan houses and some of earlier date, was a long narrow apartment, frequently in the upper storey, which served either as a passage or as a place where entertainments could be held. But the word was, and is. commonly used in a sense equivalent to that of "loft" - i.e. a platform or raised stage inside an apartment. Such was the Minstrels' Gallery at the lower end of the great hall in ancient mansions, which was set apart for the musicians. In mediaeval churches there was usually a wooden gallery over the roodscreen (q.v.), between the chancel and the nave.' It was called a Rood-loft, because it was surmounted by a large cross or rood. In other parts of the church stone galleries were erected for the accommodation of worshippers. Norman examples remain at the west end of the north transept in Winchester cathedral, but they are less common in England than in France or Germany, where they are commonly found at the west end. The triforium (q.v.) also, which forms part of the original structure, is essentially a gallery. In foreign cathedrals seats are still sometimes placed here for the congregation, and in ancient days it seems to have been used for the actual celebration of service. The wooden galleries now common in churches were introduced after the Reformation.