There are now, on the South side
besides the Rector’s stall, five stalls for Choir-men and a bench with desk for
eight boys. On the North side of the Church, besides a stall for an Assistant
Curate, there are now three stalls for men and a bench and desk for six boys.
The carved tracery on the front of the boys’ desks was designed after the
tracery of the lower part of the ancient rood screen. All the new Choir stalls
and seats are of English oak given by the Rector for that purpose. The cost of
the whole work, including the lights and the oak poppy-head benches, some of
which were worked in, was not less than £140 according to the reports at the
Two further stalls for men on the
north side and an extension to the bench (to match that on the south side) for
the boys were added after the removal of the old organ from the chancel in
1903. This work, along with general renovation of these stalls, was done by
Messrs. West of Rochester, at a cost of £39.
All of the seats of the back stalls
are misericords (four of which are shown below), and were so designed as to
afford support to elderly and infirm priests and monks incapable of standing
for long periods during Divine worship and the many Offices that were said in
ancient times. The fact that we find such seats here supports other evidence
that dignitaries of the Church met here from time to time, as the monks of
Christ Church Canterbury did.