Tudor Dining Room Arrangements
To a great extent fine homes in tudor times in England were a simple continuation of medieval domestic arrangements.
The main room of medieval, and hence tudor homes, was the hall. Tudor dining halls (picture) were used as dining rooms where the master and his family and guests sat on a raised dais. In the first half of sixteenth century England, or the tudor history period, the most common form of tables to be found in these grand halls were trestle tables.
English Trestle Tables
Dating from the medieval era and maintaining their staying power into the historic tudor age English trestle tables consisted of large boards or planks simply resting on top of uprights, or the trestles. The two trestles were joined by a rail held by oak pegs.
Most antique trestle tables designs had the facility of coming apart for easy stacking and cleaning purposes. We can gauge a picture of this from a scene in "Romeo and Juliet":
1st Serving Man: Away with the joint-stools, remove the court cupboard, look to the plate.....
Capulet: More light, ye knaves; and turn the tables up.
English trestle tables have undergone something of a revival with makers of reproductions and custom trestle tables from oak wood striving to recreate an authentic look and feel for this stalwart model although as we discuss in history of tables there may be limits to their use today.
Late Tudor Dining Tables
As we progress further into tudor times houses were built on plans that allowed for more comfort and this usually included their own dining rooms or parlours distinct from the hall, see picture.
Tudor Table, 1540.
The brackets and the octagonal balusters with their sharp edges are in the Gothic style, with no classical motifs. Made of oak and joined with pegs, the legs are fixed rather than removable. The slats of wood are set at right angles to each other, which is a sign of early joinery.
Tables found in such dining parlours were smaller, usually made of oak, rectangular-shaped, and made of a framed construction in contrast to trestle dining tables. They were normally supported at the corners by carved or turned legs connected by stretchers near the ground.