Please Sign In | Register
Google pluspinterestShare on Stumble UponShare on RedditFacebookShare on Tumblr
TITLE
Cooking over a traditional Caithness peat fire
EXTERNAL ID
QZP40_CAITHNESS_CROFTING_05
PLACENAME
John o' Groats
DISTRICT
Northern Caithness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
CAITHNESS: Canisbay
DATE OF RECORDING
1980
PERIOD
1980
CREATOR
unknown
SOURCE
Highland Libraries
ASSET ID
2754
KEYWORDS
crofting
crofters
crofter
croft
crofts
peats
peat
hearths
cooking
croft house
croft houses
crofthouse
crofthouses
audio

Get Adobe Flash player

In this audio extract a female resident of John O'Groats recalls the traditional open peat fire in the family croft.

'In e early days we had an open peat fire, and mother used to do all the baking, ye know, girdle, a sort of swey that wis across and different size o crooks that ye put the - it wis pots, not pans. It wis done on at but at wis early on, Ah mean, that wis replaced by the stove.'

The traditional Caithness hearth included a horizontal iron bar, or swey, from which pots and kettles could be suspended over the burning fire. The swey could be swung to the side when not needed. An adjustable chain called a crook, with a hook on the end, hung down from the swey to allow the pot, frying pan or kettle to be suspended over the source of heat. In baking, a circular, flat, metal tray called a girdle was used. The sides of the open hearth were kept clean and tidy, and often white-washed. They made ideal places for drying things, a very necessary facility in such a damp climate

For guidance on the use of images and other content, please see the Terms and Conditions page.
High Life Highland is a company limited by guarantee registered in Scotland No. SC407011 and is a registered Scottish charity No. SC042593
Powered by Capture

Cooking over a traditional Caithness peat fire

CAITHNESS: Canisbay

1980

crofting; crofters; crofter; croft; crofts; peats; peat; hearths; cooking; croft house; croft houses; crofthouse; crofthouses; audio

Highland Libraries

Caithness Recordings: Crofting & Farming

In this audio extract a female resident of John O'Groats recalls the traditional open peat fire in the family croft.<br /> <br /> 'In e early days we had an open peat fire, and mother used to do all the baking, ye know, girdle, a sort of swey that wis across and different size o crooks that ye put the - it wis pots, not pans. It wis done on at but at wis early on, Ah mean, that wis replaced by the stove.'<br /> <br /> The traditional Caithness hearth included a horizontal iron bar, or swey, from which pots and kettles could be suspended over the burning fire. The swey could be swung to the side when not needed. An adjustable chain called a crook, with a hook on the end, hung down from the swey to allow the pot, frying pan or kettle to be suspended over the source of heat. In baking, a circular, flat, metal tray called a girdle was used. The sides of the open hearth were kept clean and tidy, and often white-washed. They made ideal places for drying things, a very necessary facility in such a damp climate