Galilee (church architecture)

The galilee porch at Lincoln Cathedral

A galilee is a chapel or porch at the west end of some churches where penitents waited before admission to the body of the church and where clergy received women who had business with them.

The first reference to this type of narthex is most likely found in the consuetudines cluniacensis of Ulrich, or the consuetudines cenobii cluniacensis of Bernard of Cluny, (See De processione dominicali). Since the definition of this type of narthex is ambiguous, this ecclesiastical structure can not be uniquely attributed to Cluny with certainty.

Examples of galilees remain at Durham Cathedral, Ely Cathedral, and Lincoln Cathedral. A ruined version can be seen at Glastonbury Abbey.