Is there a name for these types of holes built into the stone wall of this front porch?

enter image description here

My particular house was built about 100 years ago and it has one. The above image is of a more modern home design. Front-Porch-Ideas-and-More.com

Side question: I am also wondering if someone could tell me what it is for -- is it purely aesthetics?

Here are a few photos of the ___________ in the wall of my front porch.

From the yard

From the porch


1 Answer 1


Provided it is open at the bottom and top, it's a combination 'access to the crawl space' and 'porch drainage'.

I have done a number of searches based on 'Craftsman porch design', and I cannot find a special name for it.

It appears to be a classic field stone arch. Most of these homes have a latticed skirting covering the access to the crawlspace. They provide ventilation to the underparts of the porch, which unless airy, can become a dark and dank snake and rodent haven. When dry, our canine companions find it a cool place to take a snooze, especially during the dog days of summer*.

*I seem to recall a Michael J Fox movie filmed in Georgia, and a sweat-gland-less family that sleep beneath their porch during the hot nights.


Phil Sweet has suggested 'scupper', and I thought that was only nautical, however,

an outlet in the side of a building for draining water.


Given the position of the outlets, they appear to be drains; in other words 'scuppers'.

Scuppers would be the best suggestion.

  • 1
    Not just drainage, but ventilation. You don’t want damp stagnant air trapped in a dark space.
    – ColleenV
    Jul 28, 2021 at 18:15
  • fieldstone is one word. Yes, therefore, the arch is also made of fieldstone. They are arches. Yes. Bear in mind, the window part in the arch is the same as any basement window, if indeed the wall goes into the basement. If this had been a normal wood-framed porch, those are just basement windows.
    – Lambie
    Jul 28, 2021 at 19:29
  • Yes, the basement windows go to the outside, of course. I'm saying that we cannot tell very well if in that picture the porch façade is part of a basement wall or if it isn't. It could be or not. It might just be a design feature.
    – Lambie
    Jul 28, 2021 at 19:42
  • 3
    @Lambie It would be very unusual for a basement to be under a porch unless someone did some really crazy renovations. A porch typically has a skirt independent of the home’s foundation. I did see a house that closed in an outdoor basement entrance that might qualify when we were house shopping, so it could happen. We also saw a house that was such a maze of add-on rooms I was worried we’d end up in Narnia or something if we weren’t careful lol
    – ColleenV
    Jul 28, 2021 at 19:48
  • 3
    I'd call it a scupper.
    – Phil Sweet
    Jul 28, 2021 at 20:11

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