In architecture, a hall is a relatively large space enclosed by a roof and walls. In the Iron Age and early Middle Ages in northern Europe, a mead hall was where a lord and his retainers ate and also slept. Later in the Middle Ages, the great hall was the largest room in castles and large houses, and where the servants usually slept. As more complex house plans developed, the hall remained a large room for dancing and large feasts, often still with servants sleeping there. It was usually immediately inside the main door. In modern British houses, an entrance hall next to the front door remains an indispensible feature, even if it is essentially merely a corridor.
Today, the (entrance) hall of a house is the space next to the front door or vestibule leading to the rooms directly and/or indirectly. Where the hall inside the front door of a house is elongated, it may be called a passage, corridor (from Spanish corredor used in El Escorial and 100 years later in Castle Howard) or hallway.