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If you want authentic light there are plenty of finds of open stone and pottery lamps from our period and they have been found in various locations so their is proof of wide spread use. Mainman lists some examples from York and his book is available free online: These are basically open bowls for something flammable with a wick in it and they have no wind protection.

There was a candle holder on the Norwegian Gokstad ship. It's the rectangular object with an irregularly shaped hole in the middle on this page:

The picture comes from N. Nicolaysen, "The Viking ship discovered at Gokstad in Norway" The candle holder is a thin sheet of oak, and the irregular hole was originally circular, but a candle must have burnt down and burnt the hole. Again no wind protection. There are no similar finds from the UK, but then wooden finds tend to be rare, and in a domestic context candle holders like this one would probably have gone on the fire when they got old.

Alternatives are either Gokstad-style candle holders, or a hanging soapstone lamp based on one from Jarlshof in the Shetlands:

The original probably had oil and a wick.

The closest lantern to our period in a manuscript image is in a depiction of the arrest of Christ from the Psalter of Eleanor of Aquitaine also known as the Fecamp psalter. It's from about 1185 which is still a fair way after our period:

Lund Lanterns are Unacceptable items and are banned in the village as of 2019.

Logo.gif Official Society rules

  • No flame should be within 4 feet of anything combustible including canvas, fuel etc. Open flames/candles should not be left unattended and not used inside tents at night