Minstrels' gallery


A minstrels' gallery is a form of balcony, often inside the great hall of a castle or manor house, and used to allow musicians (originally minstrels) to perform, sometimes discreetly hidden from the guests below.

The elaborate minstrels' gallery in the Lescot Wing's lower main room, Louvre Palace, Paris

Notable examplesEdit

  • A rare example of a minstrels' gallery in a sacred setting[citation needed] can be found in Exeter Cathedral. It is not clear why the term "musicians' gallery" has not been used here, as minstrels were always secular performers and would therefore have been forbidden from performing in a liturgical context.
  • A fine example of a minstrels' gallery can also be seen in the Great Hall of Durham Castle, University College, Durham, which was once used for entertainment by the Prince Bishops and is now occasionally used during College Feasts.[citation needed]
  • A restored oak minstrels' gallery is visible in Desmond Hall and Castle, Ireland (15th century).[1][2][3]


  1. ^ "Desmond Hall". Heritage Ireland.
  2. ^ "Desmond Hall | Attractions | Historic Houses and Castles | All Ireland | Republic of Ireland | Limerick | Newcastle West". Discover Ireland.
  3. ^ Somerville-Large, Peter (December 14, 1995). The Irish country house: a social history. Sinclair-Stevenson. ISBN 9781856192378 – via Google Books.

External linksEdit

  • Minstrels' Galleries in British Castles