Illustrated Dictionary of British Churches - Bench End Definition

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 national celebration marked the centenery of the 1851 Great Exhibition



22 January, 1552

Lord Protector Somerset executed

Somerset was ousted by the ambitious Earl of Northumberland

This king was the first Plantagent to be buried in England



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