Kitchen


The recently restored Merchant's House kitchen was opened by the Mayor of Marlborough, Councillor Guy Loosmore on 9 April 2014.

As with all the restoration projects in the House there were a few surprises during the work on the kitchen, most notably the discovery of traces of colour beneath the several layers of white paint.  The earliest of which a paint conservation expert identified as having been invented in 1704.  Whilst there was no guide to how the kitchen was originally decorated, although there was evidence that the original colour was white, it was decided to repaint the walls white.  Evidence of the uncovered colours - blue and ochre - can still be seen on an exposed beam on one of the walls.

One and a quarter tons of Purbeck Capstone were laid on the floor, and auctions across the country scoured to find period furniture and utensils to decorate the room.  The food cupboard with air holes punched in its doors was generously lent by a collector, Mr Pelham Olive.

The original polished oak table top has been temporarily replaced by a kitchen board made of sycamore (made by Richard Clapp who was in charge of the kitchen restoration project). This timber was the preferred choice as it does not impart any flavour to food in preparation on its surface.

One item still missing is a 17th century oven - there is a painted version in front of the original fireplace until one can be installed when English Heritage gives its permission for original infill material to be removed.

To authenticate what the Bayly family dined on is a handwritten 17th century recipe book with items such as fritters and fricassee, but it is rather difficult to read!