Medieval Castles - Kitchens & Meals

castle kitchen ruins at brougham castleA day in the life of a medieval castle would usually begin with sunrise and the servants ensuring that fires were lit wherever required within the castle before then starting to prepare the main meal of the day. Breakfast would be a light meal of bread and drink prior to morning mass. By mid-morning the main meal, dinner, would be ready. There would often be entertainment during the serving of courses. The third and final meal of the day was in the evening and would be a light meal.

Photograph: All that remains of the kitchens at Brougham Castle, located next to the castle well (in the bottom right hand corner of the picture)

The kitchen itself was usually a central hearth with possibly additional fireplaces where the meat could be stewed in a cauldron or spitted. Knives were the most common utensil, followed by spoons. Although there are records of forks being used back in Biblical times, it was not until the 18th century that forks became common within Great Britain.

The castle garden would have been an important source for herbs and fruit. Also there would often be a fish pond near the castle as well as poultry sheds and enclosures for other animals destined for the table.