rood

[rood, fronted by a rood screen, in a rood loft, accessed by rood stairs]
Anglo-Saxon: rod, cross

(1) The true cross on which Christ died.

(2) In medieval architecture, a large crucifix, often with the statues of Our Lady and Saint John on either side, placed over the entrance to the choir or chancel of a church on a gallery, screen, or beam spanning the chancel arch. It was usually of richly carved wood painted and gilded, and by the 13th century was a usual feature of the churches of western Christendom.