Bespoke English oak memorial bench

Read the story behind the bespoke oak memorial bench located in the Crawley Museum. There’s a little surprise hidden inside one of the legs..

The Brief:

The passing of a family member is an incredibly difficult thing to come to terms with. For local resident, Penny, a memorial bench was the perfect way to ensure her parents’ memory lived on. Penny contacted us through our website, she had a picture of what she liked but wanted us to tweak certain design aspects making it a totally bespoke piece with some custom features and personal engraving.

Action taken:

We began by developing the design on paper, helping Penny bring her ideas to the fore. She was keen that we used English oak, purely because it’s considered some of the best and is becoming increasingly rare. A reason why high street shops commonly stock European Oak.

Once the bench was assembled and dry fitted (before it’s all glued together) we asked the customer to visit our workshop and provide us with the two memorial plaques and a picture of her parent’s cat who was always by their side. As a special extra the cat was hand carved on the inside leg of the bench. Once assembled and carved the customer approved it and we proceeded to glue and sand the oak ready for its protective finish.


The bench was finished by applying two clear coats of external Osmo Oil – considered to be the among the best and most hardwearing finish available. We were invited to the opening of the Crawley Museum, the place that Penny’s parents were the curators of, and this is where the bench will remain, in loving memory.

Materials Used

  • Oak

We wanted a special seat made from English oak to commemorate our much-loved parents. We approached JLA Joinery with some ideas and they responded very positively. James has done a great job, even managing to create a tiny carving of the family cat on one of the seat legs. It’s lovely to think that something made so skilfully by a Sussex craftsman will be housed in a local museum as a permanent memorial to our parents.

Penny C

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