a bench built into a chimney

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Senior Member
Dear all
I have to confess that I can't imagine a "bench built into a chimney" as I've seen in the following context, taken from "The Three Soldiers" by Dos Passos.
Time: 1919
Location: a small village somewhere in Franche
"D'you know the back room at Baboon's?"
Walters turned suddenly to the left up an alley, and broke through a hole in a hawthorne hedge.
As they ducked in the back door of a cottage, Andrews caught a glimpse of the billowy line of a tile roof against the lighter darkness of the sky. They sat down on a bench built into a chimney where a few sticks made a splutter of flames.
Can you shed light on this bench?
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Hi K: here's my interpretation....

    In the past, stone chimneys were often so huge that it was possible to sit inside them. You can still see chimney seats in some old pubs in England, though I couldn't find a picture:(. Here, though, is a tiled version from Barcelona: click.

    (Note: if the link doesn't work first time, try refreshing the page:))
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Actually, it was a dual-purpose thing -- you got the warmth and the light of the fire. If you sat further away you had to use a candle, and candles cost.


    Senior Member
    English UK
    Yes - it was only when I started searching on "inglenook fireplace" that I began to find more pictures:D.
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