corbel table

a horizontal masonry construction, as a cornice or part of a wall, supported on corbels or on arches supported on corbels.

1400–50; Middle English Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To corbel table
Encyclopedia Britannica

corbel table

in architecture, a continuous row of corbels (a block of stone projecting from a wall and supporting some heavy feature), usually occurring just below the eaves of a roof in order to fill in beneath a high-pitched roof and to give extra support. It was a popular architectural feature in early medieval churches, particularly in Romanesque buildings, in which the corbels were carved and elaborately ornamented with decorative motifs, such as fancifully sculptured grotesques. On medieval castle walls, parapets were supported by boldly projecting corbel tables, with floor openings between the corbels through which defenders of the castle could drop missiles, molten lead, or boiling oil on the attacking force below.

Learn more about corbel table with a free trial on

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
The horizontality of the building's facade is emphasized with belt courses and
  a corbel table beneath the cornice line.
The cornice, which runs the width of the facade, consists of a brick corbel
  table and a wide stone band.
The three bays are delineated by full height brick pilasters, and a brick
  corbel table runs the width of the original facade.
In the level above is another round arch opening with louvers, topped by a
  corbel table.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature