Illustrated Dictionary of British Churches

History and Architecture


A ledge or shelf attached to the rear of a high altar. The retable might also hace a decorative screen rising above the ledge, and this screen is also sometimes called a retable. Retables might be confused with a reredos, also a decorative screen behind the altar, but the reredos is not attached directly to the altar, whereas the retable is. Large churches and cathedrals often have retables behind the high altar, but one of the finest and most striking retables in the entire counry can be found in the tiny rural church of Thornham Parva, Suffolk.

Related: Altar   Reredos  

  • Thornham Parva, Suffolk

    Thornham Parva, Suffolk

Thornham Parva, Suffolk

Thornham Parva, Suffolk

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This writer, politician, and philosopher is best known for 'Novum Organum', and his 'Essays', published in 1597 and 1625

22 March, 1322

Earl of Lancaster executed by Edward II

The earl had been largely responsible for killing Edward's favourite, Piers Gaveston.

This king confronted Wat Tyler during the Peasant's Revolt of 1381

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