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The medieval kitchens


Early 19th century engraving of the medieval kitchens

Few visitors to St. Mary's Guildhall will be aware that the kitchens currently used to prepare high quality dishes for the Undercroft cafe, weddings and conferences, have been in continuous use since the Guildhall was built in the 1340s. In the Guildhall's long history, the kitchens have produced grand banquets for the wealthy guilds and visiting monarchs, whilst also providing for the city's starving weavers when their trade collapsed in the nineteenth century.

Modern hygiene standards have required radical updating of the interiors, and the medieval cooks would certainly struggle to recognise their former workplace. However, protected behind later floors, partition walls, and panels, survives much of the original structure of the medieval kitchen, another feature which makes St. Mary's Guildhall such a rare and important relic of the past.

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