(through Fr. from Lat. pannus, a piece of cloth) is probably in its English form only a diminutive of pane; it wasn formerly often used for the lights of windows, but is now almost exclusively confined to the sunken compartments of wainscoting, ceilings, etc, and the corresponding features in stone-work, which are so abundantly employed in Gothic architecture as ornaments on walls, ceilings, screens, tombs, etc.
Of the Norman style no wooden panels remain; in stone-work, shallow recesses, to which this term may be applied; are frequently to be found; they are sometimes single, but oftener in ranges, and are commonly arched, and not unusually serve as niches to hold statues, etc.
In the Early English style the panellings in stonework are: more varied; circles, trefoils, quatrefoils, cinquefoils, etc., and the pointed oval called the vesica piscis, are common forms; they are also frequently used in ranges, like shallow arcades, divided by small shafts or mullions, the heads being either plain arches, trefoils, or cinquefoils, and panels similar to these are often used singly; the backs are sometimes enriched with foliage, diaper- work, or other carvings.
In the Decorated style wood panelling is frequently enriched with tracery, and sometimes with foliage also, or with shields and heraldic devices: stone panelling varies considerably; it is very commonly arched, and filled with tracery like windows, or arranged in squares, circles, etc., and feathered, or filled with tracery and other ornaments in different ways; shields are often introduced, and the backs of the panels are sometimes diapered.
In the Perpendiculadr style: the walls and vaulted ceilings of buildings are sometimes almost entirely covered with panelling, formed by mullions and tracery resembling the windows; and a variety of other panels of different forms, such as circles, squares, quatrefoils, etc., are profusely used in the subordinate parts, which are enriched with tracers, featherings, foliage, shields, etc., in different ways: in wood panelling the tracery and ornaments are more minute than was usual at an earlier period; and towards the end of the style these enrichments, instead of being attached to the panels, are usually carved upon it, and are sometimes very small and delicate. There is one kind of ornament which was introduced towards the end of the Perpendicular style, and prevailed for a considerable time, which deserves to be particularly mentioned; it consists of a series of straight moldings worked upon the panel, so arranged and with the ends so formed as to represent the folds of linen; it is usually called the linen pattern. Many churches have wooden ceilings of the Perpendicular style, and some perhaps of earlier date, which are divided into panels, either by, the timbers of the roof or by ribs fixed on the boarding; some of these are highly ornamented, and probably most have been enriched by painting. After the expiration of Gothic architecture panelling in great measure ceased to be used in stone-work, but was extensively employed in wainscoting and plaster-work; it was sometimes found in complicated geometrical patterns, and was often very highly enriched with a variety of ornaments.