The Awful Truth Behind Medieval Toilets

Sometimes it’s better to know more than to know less, but then again, sometimes the mystery is best left undiscovered simply because it’s a bit disgusting to find out how things really went back in the day. Quite a few people likely know what a chamber pot is and what it was used for since it’s essentially the same as a bedpan and was used in the same manner. But what some folks might not have known is that when using the facilities to do their business in medieval times, there were a couple of different ways this happened, and all of them are likely to make people realize that as of now we’re actually fortunate to have indoor and outdoor plumbing considering how things were back in the day. It’s fair to say that things were a little more, aromatic, back in medieval times since the application of herbs and other scents weren’t just for the express purpose of smelling fancy, it might have been to cover up the smell of excrement and urine as well, since depending on one’s station in life they might have reeked to high heaven or perhaps reeked just a bit now and then depending on which way the wind was blowing. The long and short of it is that the manner in which people did their daily business wasn’t always the nicest since whether it was into a hole in the ground or into a garderobe, which was used as a storage area as well as a privy, a bathroom as people now would understand it, doing one’s daily deed wasn’t always that nice.

To fully comprehend and accept this idea, one has to remember that in medieval England and in other various locations the fact is that they couldn’t just flush a toilet and be rid of their waste. Plus, just going anywhere a person felt like it wasn’t any better since manners were still a thing back in those times. It’s also possible that simply doing your business in front of everyone would have been considered a bit of sin as well as something that might be punished in a variety of ways. They might not have had the best options in the world, but the people back in medieval times made it work somehow, though one has to feel at least a bit sorry for those that had to scrub the walls of any castle where the garderobe emptied out onto the wall instead of a specialized chute that would lead to the moat. If anyone wants to complain about their jobs today, just keep in mind that there used to actually be a job detail that involved wiping peoples’ waste off of the side of castles and gathering it for other purposes. Some people in this world might be able to match this but compared to working in a cubicle or working a strenuous labor job, there’s no doubt that being a crap collector is by far one of the worst jobs in the world without fail.

A lot of people take indoor plumbing for granted these days but the truth is that there are still plenty of people that don’t have this luxury in various regions of the world, and they still make it work in one way or another. But here’s the thing, the dietary habits of people back in medieval times were far different than the people of today. There were plenty of folks that didn’t have access to the same variety of foods either due to high costs or geographic location, but the thing is that some folks might think that all human waste is the same. It’s gross to think about no doubt, but the fact is that there was no fast food back in the day, there were no quick and ready meals and the only chemicals being used in foods at that time were those that occurred naturally. The only way that a person’s waste cycle was affected in an adverse way was when the food they ate was spoiled or tainted in some other way. But the point of this is that back then, human waste was likely very different and despite the fact that it reeked, all the same, it’s still worth thinking about that it wasn’t the same as it might be now. Again, some folks might want to say that crap is crap and leave it that that. This would be understandable since it’s not a great subject to talk about. But the fact is that what we eat makes a difference in the end, and it’s very likely that when everything did come out it was still a nasty and distasteful job to get rid of it, but compared to today, it might have been slightly less awful. Then again, it all sounds disgusting.


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