Building Matilda


Building a Retained Heat Oven for Commercial use like Matilda takes quite a long time.

There are a number of layers involved in the build which all in different ways contribute to the overall efficiency of the oven .

The oven’s Mass is what ensures the possibility of a lot of stored heat to allow for a large bake session . This Mass  also provides good solid all round heat during bakes to produce amazing breads and pasties .Hence the weight of the oven is around 10 ton so the first stage of the build was to double up on the  Bakehouse foundations .

Another important layer is the insulation . Having produced lots of heat for the oven Mass it’s important not to lose that heat . Most of the oven has a 2 foot layer of insulation around it .

We gathered together here some pictures taken during the build which we hope will give you some idea of the complex but also simple nature of  Matilda  our  Alan Scott Retained Heat Oven .

oven base showing where wood is stored.
long view from back of oven base.
opening for oven
supports in place for Hearth insulation
Steel reinforcement for Hearth
insulation added for below hearth
Checking forms before pouring Hearth
Lower Hearth poured
Hearth from above




Lining up first bricks around ash pit slot
Hearth bricks laid
walls up to doorway
steel supports around oven
hearth from above with shuttering ready for pour of outer mass
wooden shuttering for pouring volcanic concrete












forming brick dome
showing former used to make arch
forming arch

finished brick dome



covering dome with outer mass layer

volcanic concrete oven surround

finished back wall


kitchen foil over bricks to create slip
looking up chimney
inside walls