Sunday, January 10, 2010

Medieval Style Brick Oven

While searching for something completely unrelated, I ran into these instructions for building a medieval-style brick oven. It's clearly not meant to be super authentic, since it has materials such as a cheap plastic tarp.

What I found fascinating was the claim that "Our oven is based on one from the 12th century found in an excavation at York, England (i.e., Norman period), although it is similar to earlier Viking Age ones. The original was made out of wickerwork and completely covered inside and out with daub."

A wickerwork oven? I never would have thought of that, but protected by daub, properly dried and fired, there's no reason that wouldn't have worked.

Here's someone else who underestimated the power of wicker for baking.


  1. Anonymous11:10 AM

    The Old Irish used to use tanned leather cauldrons, which I found similarly hard to get my head round, but of course as long as it's full of water and the heat's fairly gentle, it works, or one can just use hot stones rather than open flame. It still does my head in though. (Here are some guys who would teach us how.)

  2. The museum at Plimoth Plantation has a few "stick and mud" style ovens. They are portraying the 1620s, but the pilgrims were often using older techniques to carve out their corner of wild North America. I could not find any mention on their website, but I've seen them on my visits to the village.

  3. Yes, the wicker man had to be one of the worst forms of execution. Which society came up with the original concept for that?