belfry


belfry
/bel"free/, n., pl. belfries.
1. a bell tower, either attached to a church or other building or standing apart.
2. the part of a steeple or other structure in which a bell is hung.
3. a frame of timberwork that holds or encloses a bell.
4. Slang. head; mind: a belfry full of curious notions.
5. have bats in one's belfry. See bat2 (def. 3).
[1225-75; ME belfray, appar. b. earlier berfray ( < MF < Gmc) and ML belfredus, dissimilated var. of berefredus < Gmc; cf. MHG ber(c) frit, equiv. to berc defense, protection, refuge (c. OE gebeorg; see HARBOR) + frit peace, (place of) safety (c. OE frith)]

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Bell tower, either freestanding or attached to another structure.

More particularly it refers to the room, usually at the top of such a tower, where the bells and their supporting timberwork are hung. The belfry is a prominent feature of Belgian Gothic architecture, especially in Flanders. The Halles (Market Hall) and belfry in Brugge (late 13th century) is a typical example. The term derives from the medieval siege tower (berfrei), a tall wooden structure that could be rolled up to a fortification wall so that the warriors hidden inside could storm the battlements.

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       bell tower, either attached to a structure or freestanding. More specifically, it is the section of such a tower where bells hang, and even more particularly the timberwork that supports the bells.

      Etymologically, belfries have nothing to do with bells. The word is derived from the Old French berfrei or a similar word used in the Middle Ages to denote a wooden tower employed in besieging fortifications. The word assumed its current use through a popular association of it with “bell.”

      The belfrey, called by that name, is a prominent feature of Belgian Gothic architecture, especially in Flanders where a flat countryside heightens the dramatic impact of towers. The Halles (Market Hall) and belfrey at Brugge (late 13th century) is typical. Medieval England's best example is the church of St. Andrew, Heckington, Lincolnshire, which displays the familiar attached steeple. This belfry has louver windows allowing the bells to be heard clearly while being sheltered from the weather.

      A bell cote, or cot, is a bell gable, or turret, a framework for hanging bells when there is no belfry. It may be attached to a roof ridge, as an extension of the gable, or supported by brackets against a wall.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Belfry — Lage in Montana …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Belfry — • The upper part of the tower or steeple of a church, for the reception of the bells; or a detached tower containing bells, as the campanile of the Italians Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Belfry     Belfry …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Belfry — Belfry, MT U.S. Census Designated Place in Montana Population (2000): 219 Housing Units (2000): 119 Land area (2000): 1.902815 sq. miles (4.928268 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 1.902815 sq.… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Belfry, MT — U.S. Census Designated Place in Montana Population (2000): 219 Housing Units (2000): 119 Land area (2000): 1.902815 sq. miles (4.928268 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 1.902815 sq. miles… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Belfry — Bel fry, n. [OE. berfray movable tower used in sieges, OF. berfreit, berfroit, F. beffroi, fr. MHG. bervrit, bercvrit, G. bergfriede, fr. MHG. bergen to protect (G. bergen to conceal) + vride peace, protection, G. friede peace; in compounds often …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • belfry — c.1400, siege tower (late 13c. in Anglo Latin with a sense bell tower ), from O.N.Fr. berfroi movable siege tower (Mod.Fr. beffroi), from M.H.G. bercfrit protecting shelter, lit. that which watches over peace, from bergen to protect (see BURY (Cf …   Etymology dictionary

  • belfry — [n] tower; part of tower bell tower, campanile, carillon, clocher, cupola, dome, head, minaret, spire, steeple, turret; concept 440 …   New thesaurus

  • belfry — ► NOUN (pl. belfries) ▪ the place in a bell tower or steeple in which bells are housed. ORIGIN Old French belfrei …   English terms dictionary

  • belfry — [bel′frē] n. pl. belfries [ME belfrei, altered by assoc. with belle ( BELL1) < berfrai < OFr berfroi < OHG bergfrid, lit., protector of peace < bergen, to protect (see BURY) + frid, peace] 1. a movable tower used in ancient warfare… …   English World dictionary

  • Belfry — The term belfry has a variety of uses:*Bell tower, an architectural term *Belfry, a type of medieval siege tower *Belfry, Montana, a town in the United States *The Belfry, an English golf club * Belfry , a play by Billy Roche, third part of The… …   Wikipedia


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