HISTORY OF CHAPEL/CHURCH CHAIRS
Prior to the 1860's, many churches and cathedrals only had chapel chairs and/or pews in the long choir or apse. During the 17th-19th Century, those parish churches which had church chairs or pews installed were subject to pew rents paid by the occupants for the privilege of sitting in the main aisle.
After the 1870's, the use of chapel chairs and pews began to change. Social barriers slowly disappeared and greater congregation participation was encouraged.
Chapel chairs were often in adjoining blocks in the nave, it was essential that they were all identical in size and shape. This meant that the grain in the wood in the chapel chairs would have to match, Elm, Beech or sometimes American ash and oak, would be bought through specialised brokers. On arrival at the workshop the timber would be placed in a hot room to reduce the moisture content to 10%. After this, the timber would be planed and all defects cut out. The blanks for the components were then cut to approximate size, ready for finishing and turning into completed chapel chairs.