Cider costrel

Imagine a time before water bottles, when working folks needed a portable refreshment on the go. A recent acquisition is this clever solution, a mid-19th century cider costrel. This miniature oak barrel, bound with iron, was the personal cider canteen of Harry Westaway, a gardener, thatcher, and folk singer.

Crafted by a skilled cooper, the costrel used heat, water, and clever techniques to create a watertight vessel. Just like Harry, who proudly carved his initials to deter thirsty colleagues, farm workers across the land relied on costrels to bring cider with them to the fields.

Maybe Harry used this costrel while belting out songs on his travels between Belstone and Oakhampton. Perhaps it even held his father’s cider before him. The costrel’s past remains a delightful mystery, a reminder of a bygone era where a refreshing sip of cider fueled a day’s work.