The Great Hall
Medieval feasts, wedding celebrations,
receiving visiting nobles, and holiday festivities would all
be celebrated in the castle's great hall. Elaborate tapestries
and silks would line the walls and while Middle Age castles
could be rather dark, the largest windows would be found here.
Small wooden or stone benches were placed underneath these
windows so guests could enjoy the view.
Great Hall furnishings could be sparse,
but they were very practical. Long wooden tables and benches
would be covered with white linene during feasts, but could
be taken apart easily for dancing and entertainment. Castle
lords and their families would be seated at a table on a raised
wooden or stone dais at the far end of the hall.
Stone floors in the castle's Great Hall
were rarely covered with carpets, though wealthy lords might
cover them with tapestries. Straw and rushes were the usual
coverings, but later in the Middle Ages herbs like majoram,
camomile, basil, sweet fennel, mint, germander and lavender
would be added to help with the aroma. These coverings were
swept regularly, but new materials would be soon added to
cover up the more nasty fragments on the floor: bone fragments,
spittle, animal excrement, beer and grease.
Light for evening feasts and celebrations
would be provided by candles and oil lamps. It was not unusual
for guests to sleep in the hall after a night of merrymaking.