Refectory Tables

Growing up I have very vivid memories of the family’s trusted oak refectory table in the kitchen at the heart of the home. It’s such a solid and chunky piece of furniture perfect for withstanding the daily vigours of family life.

Oak Refectory Table

A pint of trappist ale please..

Refectory tables were originally used for dining in monasteries in Europe in the Middle Ages. Then it progressed and would become the banqueting table in castles, abbeys or other large residences. Indeed, the word refectory means dining room in a monastery, boarding school or academic institution. Typically they are hand crafted from oak and designed on the trestle style table with a low stretcher hugging the floor and solid, cylindrical legs. Refectory tables were common in Germany, England, Spain, France and Italy and have since gone on to becoming an enduring design classic.

Cosy Farmhouse Look…

For contemporary purposes the solid and chunky look is perfect for the interior designer – or discerning individual – wanting to create that cosy farmhouse look. They look simply great in a large kitchen on flag stone stores, the trusty Aga oven hovering expectantly in the background. Their construction is such that are so solid and sturdy – not just for eating on but a great platform for all family life – laptop work, homework, games and of course eating.

You can just imagine them in their original use when they were placed in the monks dining hall or refectory. Jolly monks seated on their benches, trappist ale in hand. Larger refectories would have many tables lined up to accommodate all the monks. Adaption of the refectory table for secular use outside of monasteries first happened in 16th Century Europe and moved north to Germany and England.

Need matching chairs..or benches?

At Canonbury Antiques we have a range of different refectory tables in various sizes and styles. We also have various matching chairs to sit around the refectory for a quality dining experience. For that true farmhouse look a set of Windsor chairs (or ladderbacks or spindlebacks) look great and will match in oak. We also have oak benches if you are going for that true monastic look. Over years of use the patina to the oak on the table will improve with age and darken to give it a wonderful hue and character and this can add to the value of the table.

To view our range of refectory tables please click here >>

Below some videos of refectory tables:

Click here to view our farmhouse dining sets >>

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