We are all fascinated by how the Lords and Ladies once lived and our imaginations run wild with thoughts of grand banquets, distinct interiors and striking rooms. Medieval castles are a great part of our history and similar to that of today the size of a castle depended on the wealth of the Lord and his family. The charm of the stone walls and grand furniture has really got our medieval juices flowing.
We all picture dark hallways and deep eerie dungeons but remarkably it was the medieval era that saw improvements in tools which allowed interior to change. Rooms typically contained crafted wood features and tough textures, with an almost dark and gothic feel. The huge rooms were filled with coarse furniture and the hustle and bustle of the castle residents. Luxurious colours and materials started to make their way into medieval castles and we only wish we’d been around to see it.
Today the kitchen is at the heart of the home and this was no different within a medieval castle. Adjacent to the kitchen, the Grand Hall featured large stone fireplaces and great wooden tables made from oak; picture slabs of meat, impressive chairs and goblets of wine as the Lord and his castle dined. Tables were usually set in rank order, the large table would sit the Lord and his family and the smaller tables would sit those less favored, usually on benches, chests or stools. The chair was seen as a form of authority for many centuries and the Lord and Lady would perch themselves on unique hand carved, solid wood chairs at the head of the table. Nowadays the chair is still used as the symbol of authority within the House of Commons but not so much in our homes.
Huge wooden double doors with clunky metal bolts would mark the beginning of the long and eerie corridors down to the Lord and Lady’s chamber, lit only by sunlight and candles made from animal fat. This room was just as important, with queen size beds and what would now be thought of as rustic features. The mighty four poster bed would dominate the room, with draping curtains and a mattress made from feathers, sheets and quilts, whereas the less favoured occupants of the castle would sleep on mattresses made from straw.
The medieval trend is fascinating and we must give credit to the original models that have been adapted to suit our furniture needs today!