A monks bench is a piece of furniture where a tabletop is set onto a chest in such a way that when the table was not in use, the top pivots to a vertical position and becomes the back of a settle or bench. This was a very useful form at a time when many homes had a large room used for multiple functions, because it allowed a large dining table to swing up and out of the way. With its’ high back it offered protection from draughts in old medieval buildings.
Also known as a settle, usually with arms and a high back, long enough to accommodate three or four sitters.
Usually constructed of oak they were very solid and durable, and have survived over the years. It is now possible not only to have an antique bench (although these are harder to find) but also to have a reproduction piece still made of solid oak and available either plain or carved.