Monks bench

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A monks bench configured as a table.
A monks bench configured as a settle.

A monks bench or hutch table 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, and this configuration allows easy access to the chest lid which forms the seat of the piece.[1][2][3] Percy Blandford notes that "whether monks ever used such a bench is debatable, but it is an attractive name".[4]

A monks bench 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.[5]


  1. ^ monks bench (British English) or hutch table (American English)
  2. ^ Pearson 1985, p. 39.
  3. ^ Carney 1950, p. 97.
  4. ^ Blandford, p. 132.
  5. ^ Strickland 1953, p. 165.


  • Blandford, Percy W. (1982). Constructing tables and chairs— with 55 projects (illustrated ed.). Tab Books. p. 132. ISBN 978-0-8306-1424-0.
  • Carney, Clive (1950). Furnishing art and practice. Oxford University Press. p. 97.
  • Pearson, Lu Emily Hess (1985) [1957]. Elizabethans at Home. Stanford University Press. p. 39. ISBN 978-0-8047-0494-6.
  • Strickland, Calton (March 1953). "The Early American Hutch Table". Popular Mechanics. Hearst Magazines. 99 (3): 165–167. ISSN 0032-4558.