|Originally the word solar, or soller, was used to
describe any room above the ground level of a building. It refers to a well lighted
parlour or chamber facing south, no matter the floor level. In relation to the castle, the
solar or great chamber was the lord's private apartment, or withdrawing room. Its location
was beyond the dais (a raised platform for the high table) or high table end of the hall,
usually on the first floor level over an undercroft (plain room used for storage).
Sometimes, builders placed a solar in a mural tower or in the keep. In a keep, the solar
was located on the protected side so that it could have windows instead of slits to take
advantage of the sun. In later medieval fortified manor houses, the solar wing was located
in a tower.
Oftentimes the lady of the castle reserved the solar
for her use. This type of solar or apartment is referred to as a bower. These often had
elaborately plastered walls and decorative fireplaces. The bower became an essential part
of medieval domestic accommodation.
It is in the solar of Chaumburgh Castle that you will find the
Chatelain and spend time to discover the SCA in more detail.