Mullion Vs Lancet windows


Senior Member
Italy Italian
Talking about "windows" or better "openings" in 15th century belfrys in Europe, I'm not sure whether I should use the term "mullion windows with one/two/three openings" or rather "single/double/triple lancet windows". Is there a difference in meaning between the two terms or can they both be used to mean the same thing?

Thanks in advance.
  • Well lancet windows specifically have a pointed arch at the top.

    A mullion is a vertical divider between panes and the shape at the top of the panes is not specified.

    I would go for "single/double/triple lancet windows" because if you use mullions there is the possibility of confusing the number of panes with the number of mullions; a two mullion window has three panes for example. Also lancet makes the shape clear.

    Just my opinion.
    Unless it's a small single lancet, a lancet window always has mullions; but a mullioned window need not be lancet-shaped. Therefore if it was a lancet window I'd call it that for preference: a 'mullioned' window might suggest the broader window of a manor house rather than the lancet type of a church.
    Thank you. However I must say I am a bit confused.

    So a "triple lancet window" is similar to a "two mullion window" or a mullion with three openings?
    And if a two mullion window has three panes or openings what would you call a window with one opening, equivalent to a "single lancet window?"
    Now if my windows have rounded arches instead of pointed arches, must I call them "mullioned windows?"

    I hope I haven't added further confusion :confused:
    A lancet doesn't have to come to a sharp point; it is more that it is tall and thin and reduces in size at the top. I think I would still say 'lancet' for a small Norman window with a semicircular top. If you need to describe the top you talk of ogees, ogives, trefoils, reticulation - and I am getting out of my comfort zone here. I would have to look the terms up on the Web or some good book and study them carefully.

    Note that we actually say 'lights' for the panes/openings of a church window.