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Antique Refectory Tables are a long, heavy solid table, usually constructed in old Oak, Walnut or more unusual examples in elm or fruit-wood with stretchers around the base. They were originally used in the Medieval times in monasteries or Great halls in larger properties of very wealthy English homes and Castles. Antique refectory tables were used for large banquets, with the earliest examples having long planks of wood supported by trestles and were easily dismantled so that the hall could be used for dancing and entertaining after the feast. By the mid 16th Century these tables became fixed and the Lord and his family would dine in a separate private room, no longer as a banquet with lots of guests. This style of antique table became unfashionable for quite some time so was not over manufactured until the Victorian era. It was the Victorian interest in older times, that cause the refectory table to be reproduced by Victorian cabinet makers, so you can see good examples from this period. They would have four bolster turned legs and circumferential stretchers along with pegged construction, so they are very stable. This particular design will quite often have a delightfully carved apron below a solid oak beautifully figured 1” top, they are can be substantial pieces of antique furniture. Have a look below at our lovely examples available for sale.
This is a good example of an Oak Antique Refectory Table that has been reproduced in the late 19th century, based on a medieval design. Originally used by monks in their dining hall, or Refectory, several would have been placed together to create an elongated table. This particular table has a thick oak beautifully grained top above four chunky turned legs stabilised by circumferential stretchers.