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Castles and Cave Dwellings of Europe by Sabine Baring-Gould

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(p. 160.) Mr. Stevenson remarks on the holes in the floor at
Rochebrune; "This is what I should expect to find in a maltery, which
must be of two floors, the lower one for steeping and sprouting the
corn, and holding the fire-crates, the higher one for drying and
storing the malt. The higher floors are now made of perforated tiles,
the holes too small for the grains to pass through, but in old times I
think the malt was dried in braziers something like large frying-pans.
Drying rooms for wheat were attached to corn-mills to dry the corn
before grinding. In some seasons corn is difficult to dry; perhaps in
France they did not make malt, but they may have dried grapes." Malt
was not made in Perigord, I believe; and the indications at Rochebrune
are strongly those of defence against assailants. Grapes would hardly
be dried in a cavern, but in the sun, and there is plenty of sun in the
South of France.


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