The Windsor chair is recognised as one of the classics of English country furniture. They were often made by village craftsmen to traditional designs in native woods like elm, ash, beech and yew.
The form emerged in the early 18th century, though the origin of the name is obscure. Chairs of this type were manufactured in large numbers in the Thames Valley in Buckinghamshire, and Windsor may have been a centre for distribution.
In practice Windsor refers not to the place of origin but to a design principle where the legs and the back are both socketed into a solid seat and this form of construction proved so practical and popular that it was widely adopted not only by country craftsmen, but for mass production in factories for schools and other institutions. More sophisticated examples were also produced by fashionable makers for wealthy clients.
Windsor chairs were made in a wide range of styles and there are distinct regional variations from all over Britain and the USA where the form was equally popular.
Windsor chairs are still being made in the traditional way today.