Kitchens, for example, were referred to as kitchens, as were pantries and cellars. The Great Hall was the most significant chamber in a royal palace or fortress. Unless there was another hall nearby, it was commonly referred to as "the hall." It was here that meals were served at court, where laws were made, and often where battles were fought. It is not surprising, therefore, that many great castles have large halls where feasts can be given for the entertainment of the king or queen.
Great castles also usually had smaller private rooms used by their owners, who could be either a king or queen, an emperor or empress, or a prince or princess. These might be called a "lord's room" or a "lady's room." A bedroom would be called a "prince's bedchamber" or a "princess's bedchamber." The term "state room" may be used for a room in a castle or other big building that is set aside for official use by people in high positions. People in less important positions would not normally be allowed into these rooms.
This would be where guards were stationed to protect the castle against attack. There might also be a second room called a "watchroom," which was where they could sleep if necessary.
The kitchen is often positioned beneath the main hall in many medieval castles, as shown in the photo above. The meal would be carried upstairs to the guests after it had been prepared. To prevent the chance of fire spreading to the main dwelling, several castles had kitchens situated in separate structures. These could be towers, independent buildings, or even caves!
In larger castles, there might be more than one kitchen. In fact, there were usually at least two: a small kitchen used by a single servant for cooking food before taking it to the main kitchen where it would be prepared for the family dinner table; and a large kitchen that served the entire household staff.
Kitchens were usually built into the wall of the keep or other strong structure because they needed heavy stone walls to withstand the extreme heat produced by cooking fires. They were also very dirty places so all surfaces, including ceilings, should have been able to easily be cleaned.
In larger towns and cities, restaurants began to appear around 1750. These were private rooms in local pubs where people could eat without having to go to another house. At first, these restaurants only sold meat dishes but by the late 18th century, vegetables began to be included on the menus. This is probably when chefs started to learn how to cook better because before then, vegetables were usually added to basic stocks or soups and served as a side dish. Now they were being treated as individual meals in themselves!
The Great Hall, a chamber in the castle, was designed to be the major meeting and dining place, and it was utilized by everyone who resided there. The Great Hall was a massive one-room construction in the Inner Ward with a loft ceiling. It could hold up to 300 people and had a large fireplace for heat during winter months.
In larger castles, such as those built by the nobility, a separate dining room was often included in the design of the house. This room would be used for meals meetings or just for relaxing after a long day. These rooms were usually located in the more private areas of the house. They could also be given other names such as breakfast room, sitting room, or library depending on the purpose they were used for.
In smaller castles, there might not be enough space for a separate dining room, so instead, food was served at formal dinner parties in the Great Hall with only family members and friends eating together. At other times of the year, anyone who lived in the castle would eat their meals in their own quarters with their door left open, so others could see that they weren't afraid.
There are several different ways to serve food in a castle.
On the ground level, there was a kitchen and a storeroom. The Great Hall was placed in the rooms on the first floor (optional-would only be built if the location was of significant political or military importance and semi-permanent occupation of the castle was envisioned). A drawbridge connected the lower court with the outer ward.
The upper part of the keep was converted into living quarters for the guard. There were also storage rooms here for weapons and armor. The top floor was not used for building anything but provided excellent views of the surrounding area.
Ground floors often have large open spaces that are used for markets or public gatherings. These areas may have been used as courtyards at one time but now serve only to provide passage through the middle of the building. On both sides of the courtyard are rooms that open onto it. In between these rooms is a wall without any openings which serves to divide the space in two.
The only door into the room is usually found in the front wall and leads into another small hallway where there might be more rooms. If there are no other doors, the room is completely enclosed which makes it easy to heat or cool. Windows would be found in the side walls and roof of the courtyard room. They would not be used as sleeping quarters since there is no way to sleep inside a wooden castle.
The principal rooms found in medieval castles and big manor homes are listed below.
To feed the hundreds of members of his court, Henry Viii erected massive kitchens. Because of the risk of fire, Tudor kitchens were built away from dining rooms. The finished meals would be collected from the cooks by liveried serving men and delivered to the Great Hall, where Henry and his court ate.
Tudor kitchens were large rooms with high-vaulted ceilings used for cooking large amounts of food. They usually had an island in the middle of the room for preparing large items such as pigs' heads or rabbits. Fireplaces were built into some walls for heating pots of water or other ingredients. There were also holes above the fireplace where meat could be hung to smoke.
The most famous Tudor kitchen was that of Henry VIII. It was built in 1503 and was located in the newly constructed Palace of Whitehall. The original floorboards are still in place under the carpeting in one room of this today's Ministry of Defense building.
This palace was the home of English kings for more than 100 years. It has been estimated that it served over 10,000 meals during its lifetime. That means that if you added up the calories eaten in all those meals, you would need about 5 million today's daily calories to match them!
By the 17th century, larger houses were being built with separate kitchens for ease of cleaning.