Sunday, 8 November 2009

Inglenooks . . .

This is especially for Hear Mum Roar, as she asked what an Inglenook was. Here are a couple of photos of the inglenook in our main kitchen. We have an even bigger one, with a bread oven, down in what was my mum's kitchen (the old dairy, in the bottom of the house). I don't think I have a pic so I will take one and add it later.

Our top inglenook (pics above and below) was all boarded over when we got here, nearly 22 years ago. Even the beam was covered over, and a Stanley stove was sat out in the room, with a length of piping somehow going back into the old fireplace and eventually the chimney, like something out of Heath Robinson, and no way would it draw properly!

This top inglenook is relatively small. I think it was built specifically to the size of the old range which was here at the turn of the century. We found some of the dark red glazed bricks which used to surround it used as infill. Some inglenooks are MUCH bigger and folks used to sit inside them where they would have a small central fire which they cooked over using a crane (like the one we bought yesterday) from which would be suspended the cooking pot or kettle. I will try and find an old photo in one of my books to scan. I know the very book actually, as it's beside me in a pile . . . Old English Household Life by Gertrude Jekyll & Sydney R Jones. Double click on the illustrations to enlarge them.

This is our bottom inglenook. We had to have the chimneys filled with volcanic dust "stuff" as the bottom one especially was so huge you got wet if you stood at the bottom when it rained! The Hergom in the top inglenook would never have drawn without that being filled and the necessary liner fitted. The intention was always to have the little Art Nouveau stove mended internally, installed and working too, but we never got around to it. In the next house perhaps . . .

The bread oven.


  1. How marvellous to have proper inglenooks - and your own bread oven too! Does it still work? I've really got to come and see your wonderful house before you downsize!

  2. The room would soon be filled with smoke if we tried to light a fire in the breadoven now Rowan, and I was silly enough not to use it before the chimney was done, but in my defence, the children were small then and those rooms were totally derelict . . .

    You are welcome to come and stay any time, as you know!

  3. Oh, thank you for answering in such detail! I think I want an inglenook now! lol

  4. Love the inglenook, I managed to pick up a set of copper pans for £6 the other day. I'd like to shine them up and display them like you do.
    We hope to move out into the countryside next year so hopefully I'll have an inglenook to display them in!