In church architecture, a retroquire (also spelled retrochoir), or back-choir,[1] is the space behind the high altar in a church or cathedral, which sometimes separates it from the end chapel. It may contain seats for the church choir.[2]

An example of a retroquire is within Winchester Cathedral which was built between 1200 and 1230 to house a shrine for Saint Swithun.[3]

See also


  1. Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Back-Choir" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  2. "Retrochoir". Merriam-Webster. 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2015. Definition of Retrochoir 1: the space left in a church behind the high altar or choir enclosure sometimes used as a chapel and occasionally containing a second choir enclosure
  3. "Our Heritage » Our History » Building the Cathedral". Winchester Cathedral. Retrieved 17 December 2019.

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