Illustrated Dictionary of British Churches - Retable Definition

History and Architecture

Retable

A ledge or shelf attached to the rear of a high altar. The retable might also have 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 country 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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