1) In former centuries this was the back of the fireplace.

Apparently a regional word and many of the OED references are from Yorkshire sources: 1642 and then doe they take the stickes and sette them up an ende, slantlinge against the hudde, and keepe a good fire under them, Elmswell

1678 to Tim Stocks for hudstones ... 1s, Northowram.

dates 1642 1678

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