Thursday, June 30, 2011

Root Cellar Typology for Newfoundland and Labrador

We are digging away on our root cellar project, documenting different root cellars, taking photographs, making measurements, and interviewing people about root cellar traditions.

One idea we've come up with is to create a map of root cellars across the province, to see what kind of root cellars are most common where. So, I've taken a first stab at creating a root cellar typology, listing out the different kinds of root cellars we've found to date.

If you know of a different kind, or have a suggestion for a root cellar for us to look at, or root cellar owner to interview, contact Crystal Braye, our down-to-earth folklore co-op student, at

Dual Entrance Cellar - set into the ground and lined with rocks/concrete. A shed is built over top of the cellar, with its own door. Access to the cellar is through a ground-level door into the cellar, and through a hatch door incorporated into the floor of the shed.

Hatch and Shed Cellar - set into the ground and lined with rocks/concrete. Beams and planks are laid over the hole, with a hatch door incorporated into the ceiling/floor, along with a ladder for access. A shed is then built over the top of the cellar.

Hillside Cellar - dug out of a hillside, lined with rocks or concrete, and then a ceiling is attached to overhead beams. Access through a ground-level door on the front.

Above Ground Cellar - freestanding cellar, covered thickly with sod on the outside, lined inside with rocks/concrete, with access through a ground-level door on the front.

Above Ground Hatch – like the Above Ground Cellar, but with access from a hatch at the top.

Walk-in Cool Room – Insulated room, part of a house or outbuilding.

Barrel Cellar – A small root cellar made of a converted barrel or drum.

Unidentified Ruin


1 comment:

Marjorie Pryde said...

Our family had a root cellar in Norris Arm.It was much like the red one in the picture. My family stored potatoes,turnips,cabbage and whatever vegetable that would keep through the winter. I did not like going down the cellar,because it was very dark and was a bit scared of what might jump out at me. They did keep the vegetables from freezing during the winter. Could not go to a supermarket those days for your produce.