Illustrated Dictionary of British Churches

History and Architecture

Box pew

A box pew is a bench contained within wooden walls, creating an enclosed space to sit during services. In the medieval period pews were open, but during the Elizabethan period and later - and in particular during the Georgian period - pews were frequently enclosed within panelled walls, accessed via a hinged door. In many churches only the lord of the manor and his family would sit within a box pew, while the rest of the congregation sat on open benches.

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This British Bible was published in 1611 following the Hampton Court Conference of 1604



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