Cast iron benches seem to have come back in fashion as an outdoor furniture choice and some might say they never went out of fashion.
Of course what you will find in the shops today will vary in quality. Often the cast iron is replaced with wood for the actual area you will be sitting on because we are less inclined to want to sit on a hard bench these days. The disadvantage of using wood for outdoor furniture is its tendency to rot if left untreated.
This can leave the examples that have wooden slats for seating unusable after a long period left outdoors even if the condition of the cast iron is still ok. If you ever visit a reclamation yard you will probably find lots of examples of antique cast iron benches, some requiring a bit of repair work and others in top condition.
A bit of paint can go a long way to improving the look of antique cast iron furniture as long as you remove the rust first and use an oil-based primer. You can even spray paint the iron in a variety of different colours if you wish.
There remains a lively trade in cast iron benches and long may it continue with this piece of outdoor furniture that will add genuine character to your outdoor space.