See caption
Box pews in Chowbent ChapelActive Unitarian place of worship in Atherton, Greater Manchester that was built in 1721.
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Box pews are a type of church seating for the laiety in the naveCentral part of a church, used by the laiety., aisle or gallery of a church or chapel, enclosed by high panelled sides with a hinged door. They were installed in churches and chapels in England and other Protestant countries from the 16th to the early 19th century.[1][2]

From the late 18th century pew-rent was paid for the exclusive use of a particular box pew, providing a source of income for churches and chapels.[3]



IDBC. “Box Pew.” Illustrated Dictionary of British Churches,
OED. “Pew Rent.” Oxford English and Spanish Dictionary, Online, Lexico, 2020,
Pevsner, Nikolaus, et al. Buildings of England: Liverpool and the Southwest. Yale University Press, 2006.