Malt drying oven, Angel Street, Northampton, UK
This malt drying oven was found prior to development of the Northamptonshire County Council offices in 2014. The above ground superstructure of dry stone had been demolished in the late 14th century, and the debris filled the sunken chamber and stokehole, which was 4.7m long by 2.0m wide and 1.0m deep. The square drying chamber, 1.5m long by 1.4m wide, had a floor of flat stone slabs and was lined with courses of roughly cut stone blocks, up to 400mm thick, with the sides battered outwards at an angle of 50-60 degrees. The chamber opened into a short flue, 0.6m wide, lined with a pair of upright portal slabs, standing 0.6m high and 0.5m wide. The fire was set on the stone floor at the flue opening, with the stoking pit more roughly lined with large stone slabs. The warmth from the fire would have dried the sprouting barley, suspended on a floor above the chamber, to form the malt for brewing.