Object of the Month: Spit Jack

Object of the Month: Spit Jack

Each month we like to highlight one of the objects in the Laurence Cadbury Collection, which is on display in Selly Manor. This month, a student who is on placement with us, has chosen the Spit Jack. 


Where would you find the Spit Jack?

You would find the Spit Jack in the fireplace, which is in the hall of Selly Manor.

What does it do?

The spit jack was used for turning the spit around to cook meat like beef or pig. Originally, children had to stand in the fire and turn the spit, but by the end of the sixteenth century, the spit jack was introduced.

How does it work?

A rope linked to a weight was wound around a wheel lifting the weight. The wheel was connected to the spit chain. The weight would fall gradually and turned the wheel and the spit in a controlled way.


Interesting facts

The Spit Jack at Selly manor is probably a Moxon style jack based on the design by Joseph Moxon. We think this because it has two triangular front plates and file decorated nuts.

Why is this object interesting?

I think it is interesting because it is clever mechanism for cooking food and we still use something similar today, the rotisserie.


Student on placement from Baskerville school.