Kitchen

The kitchen is on the ground floor of the north wing. It is lit by a large mullion and transom window and dates from the 1620s. You can look down into the kitchen from this window as outside the ground rises to the south west. For more about the architecture see the section headed "The Kitchen" in the chapter on The West And North Wings.. .1607-1628 in "An Architectural History of Towneley Hall" by W. John and Kit Smith, published by Heritage Trust for the North West in 2004.

In about 1820 the kitchen was modernised with a smoke jack using hot air convection to turm turned the spit. The present kitchen range was installed some time later around 1850. It is the most impressive exhibit in the kitchen and is unusually complete. Most ranges of this kind were updated towards the end of the century but the Towneley kitchen was never modernised and was never used after 1902.

The kitchen was put on public display in 1920, initially with only the kitchen tables, pewter plates and plate rack to complement the range. By 1929 the contents had expanded to include a most inappropiate old mangle. Over the years more small objects were added to the kitchen tables, which visitors could see through the serving hatch or by being taken on a guided tour by attendants.

In recent years the kitchen contents chosen for display have been more appropriate to a Victorian kitchen but there is still more restoration that could be done, for example a charcoal stove would once have been placed beneath the window allowing sauces to be made.


Author: tk - August 2016