I suppose instead of skylights, that top opening could have been clear, or roofed? There were at least two giant fireplaces, and there were still a couple of little ovens, all clean and painted and being used as shelves.
This would've been (I think) monks at Durham. Oh yes! Looked it up:
The Great KitchenAnd even though I keep saying I have too many books and should stop buying books, I got one in there. English Place-Names Explained, by Charles Whynne-Hammond, who even included a chapter on names of places like malls and movie theatres. OH NO!!! I went to look it up for the blog readers (http://www.countrysidebooks.co.uk/book-catalogue-book-details.php?book=39) and now I want the English Village book from that series, too. Okay, those are the last two books I ever need to buy. I need to stop now.
The magnificent priory kitchen was built between 1366 and 1374, its octagonal shape and rib vaulted ceiling not unlike the architecture of southern Spain.
The kitchen’s scale reflects the size of the community that would have lived here. In 1346 (20 years before the construction of the kitchen in its current form) the kitchen would have needed to feed 70 monks, 16 novices and various guests and helpers.
Presumably, roofing a kitchen with stone vaults rather than wooden beams was a precaution against fire, which would have been a high risk in a building of this scale. The height of the ceiling would have meant that the hot air would rise far above the ground, making the environment much more bearable for the kitchen staff.