angel roof


: a roof in a medieval church that is decorated with carved or painted angels on its inner surfaces
Angel roofs appeared during the Decorated period of English Gothic, particularly in East Anglia—the angels were carved on bosses or were finely sculpted and sprang from the beam ends, reinforcing the symbolic identification of the roof with heaven.Philippa Lewis and Gillian Darley, Dictionary of Ornament, 1986

Word History

First Known Use

1867, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of angel roof was in 1867

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Cite this Entry

“Angel roof.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 2024.

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