Illustrated Dictionary of British Churches - Parish Chest Definition

History and Architecture

Parish Chest

A wooden chest used for storing parish records, such as records of births and deaths, property deeds, and legal documents. Parish chests were used particularly from the medieval to the Jacobean period. Chests were often bound with iron straps and locked with state-of-the-art (for the era) secure locks. In an era when written documents were rare and very valuable, chests were often used to store important papers for local inhabitants, not just church records. Though most medieval chests were extemely simple - some were even carved from a single tree trunk by hollowing it out - some are richly carved on the front face. Many, particularly Jacobean and Elizabethan chests, bear the date of construction carved on the front or top.




English Heritage

English Heritage membership

English Heritage membership

Free entry to English Heritage properties throughout England, plus discounted admission to Historic Scotland and Cadw properties in Scotland and Wales.

Membership details

About English Heritage


HISTORY CORNER
Name the mystery historic attraction
See larger image



This essayist and poet is best known for his 'Dictionery of the English Language', published in 1755



14 June, 1645

Battle of Naseby

Cromwell and Fairfax rout Royalist forces under Prince Rupert and Charles I

This king lost his baggage in an ill-advised crossing of The Wash



Passionate about British Heritage!