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In this plan of St Mary's Church, Reculver, in north-east Kent, the porticus of the 7th-century church are represented by the extensions to north and south from the main structure, which is in yellow. Other colours represent later additions.

A porticus, in church architecture and archaeology, is usually a small room in a church.[1] Commonly porticus form extensions to the north and south sides of a church, giving the building a cruciform plan.[Fn 1] They may function as chapels, rudimentary transepts or burial-places. For example, Anglo-Saxon kings of Kent were buried in the south porticus at St Augustine's Abbey, with the exception of Eadberht II, who was buried in a similar location in St Mary's Church, Reculver.[3]

This feature of church design originated in the late Roman period and continued to appear in those built on the European continent and, in Anglo-Saxon England, until the 8th century.[4]



  1. ^ The nominative plural of the fourth-declension, feminine Latin noun "porticus" is "porticūs".[2]


  1. ^ "Glossary of ecclesiastical terms". Archi UK. n.d. Archived from the original on 29 June 2016. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  2. ^ Lewis, C.T.; Short, C., eds. (n.d.). "porticus". A Latin Dictionary. Archived from the original on 31 January 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  3. ^ Kelly 2008, pp. 78–9.
  4. ^ Cherry 1981, p. 168.