This is the business-end of one of our local bread ovens. Each farm had one, and each would take its weekly turn to fire it up. The good ladies of each farm would then take their dough to the week's designated oven, and bake their bread for the whole week.
A fire was lit inside the oven with bundles of dried wood and about a cubic metre of oak. This was kept going at a healthy blaze until the next day. The ashes were then scraped to one side, and the loaves put to bake.
This particular oven, which belongs to my friend Terry (St Theresa of The Floral Tribute), also has a small secondary oven (far right), which no doubt took lots of the hot ashes, and was used to cook stews, etc.
There was recently a government backed project to build new communal bread ovens in villages, but I've not heard of one being built. Maybe there was no enthusiasm.
No-one uses their ovens these days. Occasionally someone will hold a Pizza Party; but that's as far as it goes.
I'm thinking of building a small version up at our barn; a bit like the one in Jamie Oliver's garden (if that means anything).