The large mid-Victorian Gothic Revival oak refectory table having a rectangular three plank top over a moulded edge, raised on arched supports on trestle legs joined by a cross stretcher, the whole in the manner of A.W.N. Pugin.
The condition of the table is good and we have given her a full waxing to restore her colour gently. There are no associated parts and she is as original as one could hope for. The arched supports are lacking a small block wedge on one side; the supports are pieced together and the joins have opened somewhat. The table top has some marks and scratches consistent with age and use; and some light fading. There is a small split to one corner of the top; and some light separation to boards at one end of top. Overall the table is in very useable order and the faults are only what one would expect from over one hundred and fifty years use.
A refectory table is a highly elongated table used originally for dining in monasteries in Medieval times. In the Late Middle Ages the table gradually became a banqueting or feasting table in castles and other noble residences. The original table manufacture was by hand and created of oak or walnut; the design is based on a trestle-style. Typically the table legs are supported by circumferential stretchers, positioned very low to the floor.
In its original use, one or more refectory tables were placed within the monks' dining hall or refectory and the larger refectories would have a number of refectory tables where monks would take their meals, often while one of the monks read sacred texts from an elevated pulpit. Overhangs like we have here is in keeping with the earliest tavern and refectory tables.
This particular example’s arched Pugin–like supports make it very aesthetically pleasing and desirable and tables of this form are not easy to find. Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1 March 1812 – 14 September 1852) was an English architect, designer, and theorist of design, now best remembered as the leading proponent in the Gothic revival style, particularly churches and the Palace of Westminster. He owned a large collection of original medieval carvings which were a source of inspiration for his work.