The great halls is among of the most well-known images of the Middle Ages and it’s not without reason. The existence of written sources along with archeological and architectural studies confirm. The significance of the hall in manor castles, palaces and houses during the festive seasons. In examining generally English instances, it’s evident that the social aspects of a hall’s grandeur was crucial to its function. However, the warm atmosphere of the venue often mentioned.
A tale in Bede’s Ecclesiastical History, completed in 731. The story juxtaposes the harsh winter weather with the warmth of the warmth of the fireplace. Edwin the king of Northumberland and his advisers were discussing the benefits of converting to Christianity. The conversation moving along one of them made a comparison between human life to the flight. Of a bird across the hall, in which the king could seated with his men during Winter. In the midst there is a comforting fire to warm the hall. Outside the storms of winter rain or snow are raging.
Another hall that famous from Old English literature. Heorot from the epic poem Beowulf constructed by Hrothgar, the King of Danes. Hrothgar from the Danes. The most noble hall that used as the stage for welcoming, entertainment and displays of lordship, eating, flinging and sleeping. The scene of the devastation caused by night by Grendel, the monster. And his mother and father, both of whom eliminated by Beowulf.
Halls Central Point
From the 13th century onwards the hall was the central point of the family, and the main place to heat. The hearths of the 12th century hall are visible in the in the foreground. On the bottom in this image from Wirksworth Castle, also in Northumberland. The principal source of heat could be an open flame or the charcoal-burning brazier.
The Norman hall in Work worth was about 17 meters x 12 meters and therefore not huge. And yet constructed from stone, making it a space that could retain the heat. Because it was hot the hall would have been an all-time high as a location. For servants to rest particularly in the winter times. While the lord rested in his chambers servants played the lottery throughout the complex.
The hall of the great was the location for meals that was prepared to be consumed the greater time during the day. Prandial in the evening hours, including Cena, as well as by candlelight which made it one of the most lit places within the complex of houses that formed the lordly residence. The lighting was provided with tallow candles. They are called Paris candles, that appear frequently in medieval accounts rolls.
Exhibit Halls Tapestries
The hall was used to exhibit tapestries (especially in fourteenth-century) and wall art, and also for music, dancing and poetry that ranged from troubadours from Southern France and the Minnesinger (singers in love song) from Germany.
Christmas celebrations in the hall, during the twelve days of the holiday and would include the entire family as well as guests. The festivities would include the parade of the boar’s head. games of social inversions such that of playing the Bean King (whoever found a pre-dropped beans in their food became the king of the entire day) and more gifts, singing, and, in the case of the court of Henry II, jumping at a whistle, an oath from Roland The Farter.
Moving Halls Spaces
The function the design, layout and location of the hall’s grand design from 13th century until the early 16th century described in great depth in the book by Chris Wolgan in The Great Household in Late Medieval England. The most significant change the attempt to unite the buildings that had separated.
The hall became part of a set of rooms, which also comprised the kitchen halls, buttery, and pantry. They were separate from dining room by a screen and to the opposite side of the solar, the private quarters of the Lord (so called because of its position to be able to catch the sun’s rays for light and warmth).
Re-building for domestic uses evident on the grounds of Ludlow Castle in the 1280s which later reconstructed with these new components. Also, it can seen in the exact same time in the South near Goodrich Castle in Herefordshire, in Herefordshire, where William de Valence made a number of changes.
In the 15th century, the hall had become one of the diverse venues halls to entertain. However, it was still a key space for families, particularly during the Christmas season. The hall served as the venue for dramatic scenes in medieval stories such as the 14th century’s early poetic alliteration Sir Gawain and the Green Knight uses a feast on the eve of New Year, during the midst of winter to set the stage for its humorous story of honor, gamesmanship and chivalry, set in the warm and cozy hall.
Medieval society was subject to suffering, with just two bad crops from the scourge of the mass hunger. The hall itself also served as a reminder the social hierarchy of the lordship. The hall was not open to everyone only guests, servants and their families.
However, its function as a warming space and social hub deserves taking a moment to think about. There may be places that resonate to our current circumstances such as an icy winter, challenges in heating homes and the necessity of having a warm and shared space.