How Did Toilets Work In Castles?

How did toilets work in castlesOur fascination with history can be quite addicting. It can be time-consuming and sometimes even a little overwhelming. Medieval history always held a certain romantic view. Those were the days of sword fighting, kings and queens, and castles. Movies and television may have skewered our view of this though. Thank you, Game of Thrones. But have you ever wondered about real castle living? Modern-day conveniences were nowhere to be seen in Medieval times. Hygiene for instance, even for royalty, was not high on their priority list. Baths were scarce. Toilets? What an interesting topic. Just how did toilets work in castles?

A Hole

Yes, it started with a hole. A urinal hole, to be exact. In some castles, these holes would be built into the floor where a person could stand and do their business. Of course, when the need arose and sitting was required, a wooden platform above the hole was used. Typically, and early on in Medieval times, these holes were built over pits, but as time moved on, castle builders became wiser to the movements of the people.

More Than Just A Hole

No longer using just a hole, castle designers came up with was called a Garderobe. In many famous castles, these garderobes were built as small rooms, sometimes a single-seater, sometimes a double. But they were built strategically into these castles. There were other designs too. The need for privacy was not high during those times, so many garderobes were built with numbers in mind. It was common to see a toilet with perhaps 10 or more holes lined up next to each other. Conversations with toilet buddies were common and much gossip found its origin in the toilet.

Top 10 Best Toilet Reviews 2020: Helping you find the perfect porcelain

Being prepared with this information will make your decision much easier, and when it is installed you will not have second thoughts about whether you made the best decision for your home.

Learn More Learn More
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

But Where Exactly

Usually constructed high up in a castle, the garderobe was built to empty outside the castle walls. Its design was such that the hole fed into a chute. The chute would then empty itself outside the castle. Many times, this chute would dump directly into the castle’s moat. Most moats were simply standing water, so one can only imagine castle life in the summer. One can only imagine castle life in the wintertime too. Some castles were built to where the moat would feed into a running river, acting as a flush toilet and removing the waste from the castle. And then, there were those who had to clean the pits.

When Did Toilets Become Common?

It was not until quite recently in the grand scheme of things that indoor plumbing and flush toilets were the norms in all households and businesses. This article will outline a historical sketch of how people have dealt with human waste through the ages.

Learn More Learn More
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Cleanliness Is Next To…Oh, Never mind

Considered to be the worst job in history, a gong farmer was employed to keep these pits clean. While they were well-paying jobs, sometimes being knee, waste and even neck deep was not a profession many chose to take on. At one famous castle, the gong farmer would be tied at his waist with a rope and then dangled while he emptied two 5m deep pits.

Luxe Bidet Neo 120 Fresh Water Non-Electric Mechanical Bidet

With a sleek design and high-quality parts, our bidet attachment will give your bathroom a next-level look. Constructed with high-pressure valves with metal/ceramic cores and steel hoses instead of plastic.

Check Price On Amazon Learn More
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

A Royal Ending

There were many luxuries afforded to those of royal stature. A nice, well-built, private loo was one of them. But in the end, it all came out the same way. A garderobe with the waste exiting outside the castle, into a moat or in other instances, simply to the base of the castle. Most Kings would have a Groom of the Stool, who would help the King perform his bodily functions, making sure the royal bottom was spotless.

Thankfully as time moved on, the invention of plumbing took hold, flushing the old ways down the drain.

Do Toilets Come In Different Heights?

People come in all shapes and sizes and because of that there are some toilets that are higher, and some that sit lower on the floor. This is why houses with more than one bathroom usually have master bathrooms and children's bathrooms.

Learn More Learn More
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Leave a Reply