Log fires is the is the theme for this week’s #WeddingWednesdays with Historic Houses.
Hever Castle has some fantastic fireplaces, many of which are used during the colder months to offer a warm and cosy welcome to visitors or for cosy winter weddings with their real log fires.
The Tudor Suite Dining Room (pictured below) also has an impressive fireplace which can be lit for a special wedding breakfast.
For the Tudors instead of a Christmas tree a large log was chosen on the day before Christmas, decorated with ribbons and laid on the hearth.
It was then kept alight throughout the twelve days of Christmas (25 December to 6 January) to mark a Tudor Christmas.
The fireplaces in the west wing of the Castle are all original, though many of the surrounds have been augmented over the centuries, especially the one in the Great Hall, which would have been much plainer. It now features the Boleyn coat of arms and was designed by William Silver Frith.
This fireplace can be seen in the painting below, the Yule Log in the Castle’s Dining Hall.
The 19th century painting is by Robert Alexander Hillingford and shows the Dining Hall before restoration and the installation of the Minstrels’ Gallery former owner by William Waldorf Astor in the early 20th century.
Hillingford was born in London in 1828, and studied in Dusseldorf. He then travelled to Munich, Rome, Florence and Naples, where he married and worked for several years, producing paintings of Italian life.
He exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy and while he was attracted to history painting, he also included some contemporary military scenes.
Pagan Scandinavia celebrated a winter festival called Yule, held in the late December to early January period. Yule logs were originally lit to honour Thor, the god of thunder, with the belief that each spark from the fire represented a new pig or calf that would be born during the coming year. Feasting would continue until the log burned out, which could take as many as twelve days. During the medieval period the yule log was lit on Christmas Eve.
View the painting of the ‘Yule Log’ while taking a tour of the Castle.
Find out more about Weddings at Hever Castle.
If you enjoyed this item on Log Fires, why not discover more about Tudor Tuesdays.