Balcony is a name introduced into architecture by the Venetians and Genoese. It was originally a palcus, or advanced tower over a gate-house, intended to carry the machicolations. In the 15th century it was built as an ornament in front of private houses. At St. Bartholomew's, Smithfield, there is a glazed balcony; in the south-nave aisle of Westminster is one of timberand both communicated with the superior's lodge. At Durham the old anchorage or porch in the north choir aisle was used by the prior to hear high-mass; it was reached by steps; and on the south side of the choir of St. Alban's a similar raised platform was discovered, which was probably used for the same purpose. At Westminster processions could be conveniently viewed from the projecting oriel.

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