Trestle Table History

Brief History

The origins of the trestle table are quite fascinating and have roots right here in the United Kingdom. Before the Georgian period, the trestle table tops were very narrow and this was because in those days diners did not sit across from each other and this is for good medieval reason. It allowed for servers to serve from the one side and if there was an attack then the table would be flipped on its side to provide protection from attackers. The trestle table is an achievement of structural engineering. It is lightweight and very sturdy. When manufactured it provides the greatest stability with the least amount of materials. It is portable as the table legs fold up into itself and can in some cases be folded in half. The history of the table stretches as far back as the 7th century.  Four-legged tables have predominated since ancient Egypt, although Greek and Roman tables were often slab-sided, in the manner of altars.  The other main defining characteristic of a table is its height, and this has risen with changes in seating. 


The earliest Western tables were simple boards supported on trestles, usually erected when needed for eating.  The contemporary so-called trestle table is descended from these but is usually fixed, and its trestles are most typically single fixed standards rather than the collapsible medieval kind.  Long, narrow trestle type tablets descended from those used for monastic dining are known as refectory tables.  An equally common medieval type used for dining was made for four legs, connected at their feet by sturdy stretchers.  Such early dining tables known as “joined tables” were large and were often furnished with draw-leaves to further increase their capacity.  By Tudor times (the 16th century), the legs of these dining tables were often formed with large, bulbous turnings, and eventually rose to single or double pedestal tables.  

Trestle Tables Types

The trestle table has evolved substantially from its humble beginnings and has made its way ito people homes as dining tables but has also made its way into the event industry.  There are several types of trestle tables that are available for people looking to use these at weddings, banquets or garden events.  These tables fall into several categories and are available in an assortment of shapes and sizes.  The basics for any trestle table used in the event industry is that the table legs must fold up into the table top and in some cases the table will fold in hald to increase storage capacity.


These are trestle tables in a variety of shapes and are the most popular tables used in the event industry today.  As you can see it is manufactured using a wooden table top and has legs that fold up into itself so that it can be folded down and then when storing you can stack each table onto itself. These types of tables are ideal for pretty much any event, they are used at weddings, christenings, garden party's and for pubs and restaurants.  There are many variations to this style of table and it is available in different table top finishes and materials.  Many people looking at buying these types of tables for schools or pubs they prefer to purchase a fine finished table that has a laminated table top or a table top that does not require a table cloth or covering when using the table. Some of the more industrial tables built for heavy duty use have visible rivets in the table tops and these allow for the tables to carry heavier weight and also be used at large venues on a daily basis.  The tables shown here are heavy duty version and offer quite a few options that are not available on lesser quality tables.  The table edges are bordered with a PVC edging which is tongue and grooved into place.  This edging is put in place to protect the table when moving and storing after each event.  As you can see they also offer American wishbone style legs, these legs make the tables very strong and also allow for them to fold up into the table top.  Another factor that differs greatly to tables made for use in dining rooms and kitchens is that these tables are varnished with a contract grade top coat which protects them from spills and food when in use.  The table tops are made of plywood and are 19.5mm thick.  This is the ideal thickness for a table top and also allows for heavier static loads and it keeps the tables from warping over time.  Many event industry professionals know that over time a table top that is not the appropriate thickness will warp and dip and will make the table unuseable as the crockery will not stand on the table as intended.  

Manufacturing of Event Tables

Manufacturing of these event tables is a process that takes time and has very high quality controls.  These inspections are carried out by our team and are at a very high and strict standard.  We have a team of 70 that include warehouse personel, factory foreman and logistics team, these elements allow for the tables to get from start to finish in the most efficient means possible.  Here in the UK the largest manufacturer of heavy duty event tables is Striclty Tables and Chairs.  They are the only manufacturer of the 19.5mm table tops here in the UK and offer the highest quality tables available on the market today.  There are nearly 2000 different variations of tables and chairs that you can purchase from Strictly Tables and Chairs and is why we offer products that are stock sizes and also manufactured to order.