Market Lavington Museum

Cleaning the kitchen range


A well loved feature of Market Lavington Museum is the kitchen range, dating from the time when our building was a family home and cooking relied upon a coal fire.

Our notes on housewifery remind us of the chores involved with using a kitchen range. The ashes had to be removed and taken outside along with any soot. The cinders were not fully burnt out and were to be kept. The cast iron range had to be cleaned with black lead, which was rubbed in and polished off with a soft brush. Any steel parts were to be cleaned with emery paper, whilst the brass needed polishing paste.

Hearth stones had to be washed and whitened.

The fire was laid with crumpled paper which, when lit, would pass the flame onto the dry sticks, laid crosswise. When burning, these would then ignite the small pieces of coal. Getting an oven up to temperature is a much speedier process with modern electric and gas ovens.