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corbel table

noun
1.
a horizontal masonry construction, as a cornice or part of a wall, supported on corbels or on arches supported on corbels.
Origin
1400-1450
1400-50; Middle English
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Encyclopedia Article for corbel-table

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.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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