British church history and architecture explained through photos and illustrations
Illustrated Dictionary of British Churches
History and Architecture
BY DAVID ROSS, EDITOR
A wooden seat, or bench. Medieval pews frequently had carved bench ends at each side, and these bench ends might be capped with decorative carved finials known as poppy-heads. Despite the name, poppy heads might be carved in many shapes, including animals, religious figures, humans, or foliage. The Elizabethan period, and in particular the Jacobean period that followed, saw the introduction of box pews, where the bench was enclosed by hinged doors, creating a wooden compartment.
The side walls of these box pews could be extremely high, so much so that it was difficult to see the people within! In some churches box pews were reserved for the wealthy, while the riff-raff had to sit on unadorned benches. Again, the doors and side walls of the box pews might be decorated with intricate carving, and the interiors of the pew carved with decorative pilaster strips.
Text and images © David Ross and Britain Express
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The history of Anglo-Saxon England is told in what contemporary manuscript?
It originated in the regn of Alfred the Great, who may have ordered it to be compiled
It lasted in several forms until 1154
This Day in British History
19 December, 1154
Henry II crowned
Henry took the throne after the death of his uncle, King Stephen.