A rough guide to the fender seat


Whether yours is a wood burning stove or a roaring open fire set in an ancient inglenook or Victorian cast iron fireplace, a fender seat (or club fender) adds an extra dimension by providing really useful extra seating.

There's a choice of traditional and modern metals from which the base and uprights are made, and the seats are usually upholstered in coloured leather. If you'd prefer to have yours upholstered in suede or fabric, that's not a problem.

The variety and choice allows you to design your own to best suit any type of fireplace - whether for the drawing room, billiard room, playroom or snug. Make it as decorative as you like, or just keep it plain and simple.



These are the three styles of front: straight across seat, curved dip and square dip. Far right is the elliptical variation of the curved dip.


Most fender seats have a curved dip in the front - this helps frame the fireplace and retains access to the grate for ashing out. Straight across seats are only really suitable for larger fireplaces where the seat can sit further into the room, say at least 24" so it can take the brunt of the heat from the fire. Having a dip in the front creates a frame for the fireplace, allows ashing out and of course lets the heat out too.

Base shapes and sizes
There are three bases available: the formed base, the
standard base and the wood base. The standard base (far right) is a basic angular base. It is slightly smaller than the others and so often suits a smaller fireplace. We often make the seats an inch narrower to avoid top-heaviness. Its size is 2½" high by 3".

The formed base, middle, is slightly larger, at 2¾" high by 3¼", and has a concave front. These sizes are only the usual - if you want it a bit bigger or a bit smaller, then so be it.

The metalwork is lacquered for protection, which gives it a slight sheen.

The oak base (leftermost of these three) is a good alternative to the metal base, keeping the uprights and curve in one of the metals. The oak can be stained to order from light (pine), through medium (the most popular for an aged finish) to dark (almost black, the grain is just about visible). Its size is the same as the formed base and it's available with a traditional profile (shown) or a smooth front, similar to the formed base profile.

All-important details

Impress your club fender vendor by knowing the jargon. Here are a few pointers:


The round or square collars sit between the uprights and the base and are an optional extra. The uprights can be round or square or alternately twisted. Further options are covered elsewhere throughout this website. The overall height is 20". Again, this is variable to suit your fireplace


About us

Norfolk Fender Seats is run by father and son team, Henry and Robert Elwes, based near King's Lynn, Norfolk. The company was founded in 1985 and uses the same skilled craftsmen today as it did then. They're getting pretty good at it by now.

We want to give you a really good quality made-to-measure product that you will love for a lifetime. For you to see samples of our metal & wood bases and leather colours around your fireplace before you buy, we're happy to visit. This also relieves you of the responsibility of measurements.

We travel all over mainland Britain, so if you're half inclined, contact us for more information and dates. The visits are free and without obligation - but if you're some way away, you may have to wait for another job or two to come up in your area (so to speed up the process, get your friends in on the act too). Londoners needn't despair. Trips to see customers in the capital come up usually once a fortnight.