WOOD AND CHARCOAL AS ENERGY SOURCES IN THE COMMANDERY OF MALBORK IN THE 14TH AND THE FIRST HALF OF THE 15TH C. (Drewno i wegiel drzewny jako zrodla energii w komturstwie malborskim w XIV-pierwszej polowie XV wieku)
The energy demand of the Teutonic Order castle in Malbork, which in the 14th and the first half of the 15th century was the seat of the Grand Master and the headquarters of the Order, was satisfied by the extensive use of wood and charcoal. The most detailed information on the subject comes from the inventories and revenue books from the 14th and the first decades of the 15th c. There was a special official ('caravan master') who was responsible for buying and supplying firewood. Firewood was stored on the wood yard in the suburb. The production of charcoal, which was used in the smithy and cannon foundry, was organized by the castle commander. He was also responsible for buying windfalls to fuel the brickyards and lime kilns situated close to the castle. Charcoal was produced by charcoal burners from the village of Bronowo in the forests of the north part of Zulawy Wielkie and from the village of Polski Brunwald (now Wegry) in the Sztumski Forest. It was transported to Malbork by waterway and stored in the suburb. In the 15th c. the production was about 500 last (last - 3000-3840 litres) yearly; it came mainly from the area on the Szkarpawa river. The intensive exploitation of forests in the commandry of Malbork led to deforesting large areas. The deficit of wood, which was also necessary for the construction and maintenance of floodbanks, was increased due to the Thirteen Years' War.
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