When we think of church, one thought that probably doesn’t come to mind immediately is the church itself. As in, the actual building! The history of such church staples as pews, steeples, alters, and windows is intricate and fascinating. Although it is far too much to fully recall here, there are a few neat things you should know about church history.
For example: did you know that the rise of the sermon as an integral part of Christian worship — especially in Protestantism — made the pew (i.e. the seats) a standard feature of church furniture. Church pews first began to appear in the 13th century. Back then, they were simple moveable stone benches placed along the church walls. Over time, the pews moved their way to the center of the church, and stone benches later turned into wood — sometimes very intricate wooden benches. Though we make take pews for granted, keep in mind that for the first five-hundred or so years of Christianity, most Christians worshipped at home, in private. The ability to worship in a public church was mostly unheard of.
Still, one of the most recognizable features of the church — the steeple — has a vibrant history of its own. The church steeple history is one steeped in major historical events. Church steeples weren’t constructed until about 600 AD, more than one-hundred years since the fall of the Roman empire. Church steeple history is interesting in that steeples were originally adapted from clock towers, which in turn were adapted from Roman army watchtowers! At first entirely separate from the church, church steeples were gradually incorporated into the church structure itself. By the time the Middle Ages took full swing (around 8th century AD), the steeple became a standard feature of contemporary churches. The trend continues to this day.
For more information about church steeple history, feel free to leave us a comment or question at the bottom. We look forward to your input.