Oriel or Oriole

Oriel Or Oriole

(Lat. Oratoriolum, or little place for prayer, its original meaning) was a portion of an apartment set aside for prayer, and in the mediaeva houses it was not an uncommon practice to arrange the domestic oratory so that the sacrarium was the whole height of the building, while there was an upper floor looking into it for the lord and his guests to attend to the service. This upper part more especially received the name of Oriole. Thus any projecting portion of a room, or even of a building, was called an oriole, such as a penthouse, or such as a closet, bower, or private chamber, an upper story, or a gallery; and the term became last of all applied to a projecting window, hence oriel window; also called bow or bay window.

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