Great hall facts for kids
A great hall was the main room of a royal palace, a nobleman's castle or a large manor house in the Middle Ages. At that time the word great meant big. Great halls were found in France, England and Scotland and some other European countries.
A great hall was a rectangular room between 1.5 and 3 times as long as it was wide, and also higher than it was wide. At night some members of the household might sleep on the floor of the great hall.
Two very large surviving royal halls are Westminster Hall and the Wenceslas Hall in Prague Castle. Penshurst Place in Kent, England has a hall from the 14th century. There are lots of 16th century and early 17th century halls in England, Wales and Scotland, for example those at Longleat (England), Burghley House (England), Bodysgallen Hall (Wales), Muchalls Castle (Scotland) and Crathes Castle (Scotland); however, by the late 1700s the great hall was beginning to lose its purpose over time.
Images for kids
The Great Hall in Barley Hall, York, restored to replicate its appearance in around 1483
Plan of Horham Hall, a 16th-century English manor house. All of the basic features of a great hall are present: a screens passage, leading from the entrance porch; a dais; a bay window (not essential but very common). The main staircase is at the dais end, and photographs show that the hall was the full height of the two-storey house
The classic layout of an important mediaeval house, showing three doorways to service rooms, Old Rectory, Warton. These doorways are here seen from inside the Great Hall, but would originally have been hidden by the wooden screen of the screens passage. The central doorway leads into a passage to an outside kitchen. The other two doors are to the pantry and buttery
Great Hall of Stirling Castle, Scotland, view towards the north showing screens passage, with minstrels' gallery above
The mid-14th century Great Hall at Penshurst Place, Kent, looking towards the wooden screen of the Screens Passage, pierced by two large rectangular doorways. In the far stone wall of the Screens Passage can be seen Gothic arched doorways leading into the service quarters, usually Kitchen, Buttery and Pantry
Great hall Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.