Illustrated Dictionary of British Churches

History and Architecture

Bench End

Bench end is the term usually applied to the wooden end panel of a church pew. In many cases these bench ends were highly decorated with carvings, ranging from religious symbols to heraldic shields, to political lampoons (see Brent Knoll in Somerset). Bench ends were frequently capped by a carved wooden finial known as a 'poppy-head', though the design might be anything from grotesque beasts to saints (or, indeed, a likeness of a poppy head!).

Related: Poppy Head   Grotesque  

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This dashing courtier was a favourite of Elizabeth I, but she eventually had him executed after he rose in rebellion



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This Day in British History

26 June, 1610

James I accepts Great Contract

By terms of the Contract James agreed to abolish feudal tenures and wardships in exchange for a grant from Parliament of 200,000

Monarch Mayhem

Daughter of James V of Scotland and Mary of Guise



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Passionate about British Heritage!