Monk benches, also known as a druids pew, are gorgeous pieces of furniture with high backs and arms. Dating back to medieval times the high back was designed to ward off the draught which was common at the time. Due to their size and intricate designs, they are the perfect way to create focal points all around your home; be it the living room or hallway.
Monk benches were designed to be movable, even though some models were fixed in place. It is a collector’s favorite, comparable to chests and other types of chairs. In addition to the high back, a monks chair would have a wooden canopy or winged ends. The preferred position of the chair was in the sitting room near the fire.
Historically these chairs were made using hardwood such as oak or mahogany. Featuring the medieval design, they were solid, durable, and heavy. It isn't easy to come across a monk bench from earlier than the mid-16th century. The monk benches available from Solid Wood Warehouse are all individually handcrafted using sustainably sourced mango wood. Our range of Granary Royal monk benches are full of charm and character, each individually handcrafted by skilled artisans.
Less expensive monk chairs would have a plain surface. More expensive ones had elaborate carvings or incisions. Their prominent places in the home were halls in the manors and farmhouse kitchens. By mid-18th century, the chairs had more than ran out of popularity.
In designing a Monks bench, artists would create a plain chair capable of being moved around. However, there are other designs with inbuilt boxes under the seat and cupboards on the back. Some of them were used in homes and others in churches. Apart from acting as chairs, they provided the much needed storage space for all kinds of items.
Also, there was a monks chair that morphed into a table. Its base also had a chest. Its back had flanges with long slits at the bottom. When needed, the back would be raised so that the piece of furniture could be used as a table top. That is a combination of what we know as a monks chair and a monks bench.
Over recent years we have seen a huge increase in demand for monk benches and church pew style chairs. Shoppers are looking for ways to make their homes unique, create focal points and really impress guests. The range of solid wood monk benches that we offer allow shoppers to find the perfect one to compliment their home and décor. Not forgetting that most of our benches offer storage space underneath the seat, which is perfect for storing shoes!