Relevant categories: Dining Tables,Dining Sets
When you hear of the term ‘refectory tables’, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Also known as oak refectory tables, the term is used to describe elongated tables that were used to serve food centuries ago. As such, a refectory table is an elongated table used in medieval time for dining purposes in monasteries. In the succeeding centuries, refectory tables were used to entertain guests in residences of nobles and castles. Originally, refectory tables were made from walnut or oak, with the trestle-style design.
Depending on the size, a refectory table would accommodate between 10 and 16 people. While the smaller table accommodated 10 diners, the larger ones accommodated 16 diners. But the tables were not that rigid. The bigger ones had drop leaves at both ends to accommodate extra people.
Refectory tables are made using a four-legged subframe, with joining rails around the legs, and a bottom of stretchers. The table top sits on the stretchers. Since they first came to the fore in the 15th century, refectory tables have been such that the stretchers, rails, and legs are connected using tenon and mortise joints. While the joinery in the medieval times was painstakingly done, modern refectory tables and relatively easier to make. If anything, modern mortise and tenon joints are cut accurately, thus providing for a perfect fit.
Apart from monasteries, refectory tables were also used in university halls of residence and boarding schools in countries such as Germany, Italy, France, and Spain. Many of the tables from earlier centuries are now available in the form of antiques.
History of Refectory Tables
As stated earlier, refectory tables originally found use in dining halls or refectories used by monks in monasteries. In larger dining halls, there was o need to have several refectory tables. All the monks in the monastery would sit down together and eat as they listened to sacred text read by one of the monks from a pulpit.
In parts of Mediterranean Europe, refectory tables found more secular use. As such, craftsmen from countries such as Italy would adopt more ornate designs of these tables. With time, refectory tables were in use in the rest of Europe. So from the 16th-century refectory tables grew in popularity across Europe.
How to Use Refectory Tables Today
Today, refectory tables can play an important role when it comes to your home’s interior décor. You can use them to create a relaxed farmhouse look in the kitchen. With a background beset in kitchen appliances, you can’t have a more beautiful look. From the sturdy table top, the family can dine, play games, do homework or finish work on a laptop.
Of course, you would need to buy equally aged chairs to match the rustic look. It doesn’t matter how small or big the refectory table is. If the table is an antique piece, then you should buy antique chairs. Your visitors will appreciate the patina that would have developed on the furniture pieces over the years.
Why don’t you make up your mind to buy a refectory table today? We have some of the best deals for antique pieces.
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