Castle Object of the Month: Warming Pan

Castle, History

Warming Pan

Castle Object of the Month is the Warming Pan. It is located in the King Henry VIII Bedchamber and would have been used as an early form of bed heating, much like an electric blanket or a hot water bottle today. 

The pan would have been filled with hot embers from the fire and placed under the bedclothes to heat and air the bed. The earliest known example of a warming pan was made in 1616.

In the 17th century, the pan would have been a valuable family possession and would have been handed down the generations. Some were particularly ornate with designs which formed a pattern on the warming pan. 

The warming pan at Hever Castle dates back to the early 18th century, is of Dutch origin and is made of brass with a wooden handle.

The face of the pan is incredibly decadent with an elaborate pattern, which is both raised and indented.

The air holes incorporated into the design would have allowed the embers to smoulder for longer meaning that the heat would last longer. The warming pan hangs just beside the fireplace, the perfect place for it to be filled with embers or coal from the fire. 

Warming pans kept our ancestors warm through the cold nights, especially at Hever in what would have been an otherwise cold and draughty Castle.

Warming Pan

Read more about the intriguing artefacts in the Castle. 

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