"Hassocks" Top 5 Page for this destination England Local Custom Tip by leics

England Local Customs: 129 reviews and 170 photos

by leics

It occurred to me, whilst wandering round one of our hundreds of ancient churches, that visitors might not realise what hassocks are (or what they are called).


Hassocks are rectangular, quite hard cushions which are found in front of pews (the wooden bench seating in churches). Sometimes they hang from small pegs, sometimes they lie on the floor.

They are to kneel upon when you pray. Nowadays not everyone kneels to pray, but everyone did so until a few decades ago. I do think it is interesting that English churches decided to make the process gentler on the knees.......perhaps it is because we live in such a chilly, damp climate?

The hassocks are often decorated in tapestry or cross-stitch created by the ladies of the parish (the area that church looks after), but no doubt many of them are factory-produced nowdays (the parish ladies perhaps too busy to do such things?). Designs can include Christian symbols such as doves, keys, fish, the cross as well as religious phrases and so on.

These rather pretty blue hassocks are in a church in Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire.

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  • Written Oct 11, 2008
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leics Used To Live Here!


“'Take clothes you can layer....' :-)”

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