In places where they sit: A social history of the church pew in Wales

by Roger L Brown

In Places where they Sit is a revised and much-enlarged edition of a monograph published in 1998, Pews, Benches and Seats. People were seated according to their social rank, but over the course of time pews became appropriated to families with the result that they felt able to prevent others from making use of their pew. As a consequence the accommodation in churches could be technically full but in reality was half empty. The poorer people were excluded or placed in out-of-the-way places, while others, unable to find accommodation, found their way to Nonconformity. This study shows how the Church endeavoured to address this issue by erecting galleries, repewing or even building a daughter church, and suggests that many churches were rebuilt or restored, not because they were in poor repair, but in a desire by their clergy to end this system of the appropriated pew. It also looks at the legal issues involved and the disputes which were caused by this system, and the renting of pews, in many cases illegally. Although the study is of churches in Wales, with an appendix noting those churches which still contain their earlier pews, it is also applicable to England.

Paperback: 188 pages
Publisher: Pixel Tweaks Publications (2 Sept 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0993467997
ISBN-13: 978-0995619005
Product Dimensions: 14.8 x 1 x 21 cm
About the Author:

Roger L Brown retired as vicar of Welshpool, Powys, in 2007, and is well known as an authority on the ecclesiastical history of Wales, having written numerous books, monographs and articles on this subject. A fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, he holds the degree of Doctor of Letters from the University of Wales. The book can be obtained from the author directly.

Comments are closed.