Settle Down Now...

Yes, it is just a high-backed bench, but it is called a "settle" and that is what you are expected to do…settle down into this cozy nook. Settles have been around for hundreds of years designed to protect its occupant from draughts in medieval buildings. Usually placed by the fire, these wonderfully dramatic pieces can be still be found in old English pubs today. 

 
Dr. Syntax Reading his Tour in the Kitchen of the Dun Cow,   aquatint by T. Rowlandson (1817)

Dr. Syntax Reading his Tour in the Kitchen of the Dun Cow,  aquatint by T. Rowlandson (1817)