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The Medieval Period (1100AD - 1499AD)

Castles

Oven and Salt Cellar

Description:
Built into the recess of the fireplace in the castle's 15th Century kitchen are two vaults. The lower one's purpose is obvious: an oven. In the medieval Scotland people did not eat as much bread as they did in other countries, instead they ate rough oatmeal or barley bannocks, rough scones which could also be toasted and eaten if stale. These were baked on a girdle (or gridle) hung above an open fire of open cast coal. If however they wanted bread, or cakes etc. this charcoal oven would have been used. The other vault was the salt cellar. Storing the salt above the hot oven kept it dry, important as it was far more valuable then than it is now. It was not only used to flavour food, but to preserve all their meat and fish. There are still steps worn into the wall below it by the children that the cook would employ in the kitchen. Just down the coast in from Kilmarnock is the town of Saltcoats which got it's name from the salt panning industry.
Place of Production:
Kilmarnock
Source:
Dean Castle
Digital Number:
EAIN006n
Copyright:
East Ayrshire Council