Definitions for hagioscopeˈhæg i əˌskoʊp, ˈheɪ dʒi-
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word hagioscope
A small opening in an interior wall of a church, enabling those in the transept to view the high altar; sometimes called a squint
an opening made in the interior walls of a cruciform church to afford a view of the altar to those in the transepts; -- called, in architecture, a squint
Origin: [Gr. "a`gios sacred + -scope.]
A hagioscope or squint, in architecture, is an opening through the wall of a church in an oblique direction, to enable the worshippers in the transepts or other parts of the church, from which the altar was not visible, to see the elevation of the host. Hagioscopes were also sometimes known as "leper windows" wherein a squint was made in an external wall so that lepers and other non-desirables could see the service without coming into contact with the rest of the populace. In medieval architecture hagioscopes were often a low window in the chancel wall and were frequently protected by either a wooden shutter or iron bars. Hagioscopes are found on one or both sides of the chancel arch; in some cases a series of openings has been cut in the walls in an oblique line to enable a person standing in the porch to see the altar; in this case and in other instances such openings were sometimes provided for an attendant, who had to ring the Sanctus bell when the Host was elevated. At St Bees Priory a purpose-built squint was included in the wall of the 14th-century chapel to give a view of the high altar. The window is low enough to allow a person to kneel whilst looking through the aperture. It is now infilled.
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