The Sotherton Room

The furniture in this rooms is mainly 17th century with much of the cooking equipment dating from the early 19th century, although it’s of a traditional type that would have changed little over the centuries.

Keep an eye out for the chimney crane which enabled the cook to change the height of the cooking pot over the fire, the Dutch oven which was placed in front of the fire and reflected heat onto the meat hung inside it, and the clockwork bottle-jack that kept meat turning while it roasted.

The replica food is of a type which would have been familiar to Nicholas Sotherton, Mayor of Norwich in 1539, when he lived at Strangers’ Hall. The ‘food’ includes black puddings, white puddings, ‘pike in galentine’ (gelatine), suckling pig and roast capon. The capon would have been studded with cloves and cooked on a spit, a delicacy of the time was for the brains of the roasted bird to be sucked out through its beak.

Smaller items include a heavy iron sugar cutter used to break small pieces of a large block, a pottery water filter that used a layer of charcoal to produce (slightly) safer drinking water and a tin candle box which contained tallow candles – made from melted down cooking fats.