The Country House Kitchen

The Weald & Downland Open Air Museum is offering a series of day courses aimed at staff and volunteers working in historic houses, museums and other heritage attractions. The first in the series, Communication skills for heritage interpreters, will take place on Thursday 6th October – read more here.

A two day course in July 2012 will examine life below stairs in the large households of the 16th to 20th centuries. The Country House Kitchen course will be taught by food historian and historic house consultant Peter Brears.

Day One:
A look at the 16th & 17th centuries, including

  • sources of information available including plans, household ordinances and inventories
  • the study of household management at Hampton Court
  • the study of preparing and presenting food, the role of food in emphasising status and table manners
  • a site visit to Cowdray House ruins.

Day Two:
Looking at the 18th to 20th centuries including:

  • the increasing complexity of the organisation of the household staff
  • the development of the Country House Plan, including the function of each room, male and female departments and the analysis of plans for surviving buildings
  • the developments in water supplies, bakehouses, kitchen ranges, ovens etc
  • the changes in preparation and presentation of food, the use of still houses and dairies, and methods of serving food
  • A site visit to parts of Petworth House.

Dates and costs for the course will be announced early next year, click here to make a booking request.


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Filed under CPD opportunity, Study visits, Workshop

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