PERRON (a French word meaning properly a " large stone," Ital. petrone, from Lat. petra, Fr. pierre, stone), in architecture, a term applied to a raised platform reached by steps in front of the entrance to a building. The grand flight of external steps entering the mansions of the medieval nobility or high officials was considered in itself a mark of jurisdiction, as it is said that sentence was there pronounced against criminals, who were afterwards executed at the foot of the steps as at the Giant's Stairs of the Doge's palace at Venice.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)