Where there toilets in the middle ages?

Ancient Romans built latrines over running water to carry off wastes to the Tiber River. They developed the art of plumbing and constructed underground sewers made of lead, earthenware, or stone.

During the Middle Ages, people in the British isles used chamber pots made of glass and metal at night. In the morning they emptied their chamber pots out the window.

Queen Elizabeth I used a portable toilet shaped like a box covered with red velvet and trimmed in lace with a lid and carrying handles. Her Godson, Sir John Harrington, invented a flushing toilet for her in 1596.

When millions in Europe died from cholera in 1832, people began to realize that poor sanitary conditions caused the disease to spread. Parisians rioted and Emperor Napoleon III had old sewers cleaned and new ones built. The government in Britain passed laws requiring houses to have some kind of flushing toilet or privy.

Thomas Crapper, a British plumber, developed a type of flushing toilet in 1872. He perfected the cistern - the tank that holds the water for flushing and made flushing quieter. The American soldiers stationed in England during World War I who returned to the US used his name as a euphemism for the toilet.

The Victorians regarded the toilet as a status symbol and made the of fine glazed earthenware and hand painted them with flowers or sculpted them as lions and swans holding the basin on their backs.

Thomas Jefferson devised an indoor privy at Monticello by rigging up a system of pulleys. Servants used the device to haul away chamber pots in his earth closet, which was a wooden box enclosing a pan of wood ashes below, and a seat with a hole cut out at the top.

In 1829, the architect Isaiah Rogers designed the Tremont Hotel in Boston. It was the first hotel to have indoor plumbing. On the ground floor he installed eight water closets.

By the 1860s, many wealthy Americans had indoor flush toilets imported from England. The tanks had pull-chains and were mounted high on the wall above the bowls.

From 1910 to the 1920s, the elevated water tank was gradually lowered and placed closer to the bowl until tank and bowl finally became one unit.

that and some xtra info.

What are the sources for this information? (Where did you find the information?) It's important to give credit to the original writers.


Yes, there were toilets in the Middle Ages, although they were quite different from the modern flush toilets we are familiar with today. The design and usage of toilets varied depending on the time period and location, but here is a general overview:

1. Chamber pots: In the early Middle Ages, chamber pots were commonly used as a form of indoor toilets. These were essentially portable containers that people would use as a toilet and then empty them manually.

2. Outhouses: Outdoor toilets called "privies" or "garderobes" were also commonly found in castles, monasteries, and other medieval buildings. These were separate structures attached to the main building and usually consisted of a simple seat with a hole that emptied into a pit or a stream.

3. Castle latrines: In castles, especially in later medieval times, latrines were built into the castle walls. These were essentially long, narrow, stone or wooden structures protruding from the castle walls with a series of holes where people could sit.

4. Garderobes: These were similar to outhouses but were integrated into the structure of the building itself. They often had shafts or chutes that would direct waste away from the building and into a moat or cesspit below.

It is important to note that hygiene practices and sanitation standards were not as advanced as they are today, so the conditions surrounding medieval toilets were often less sanitary.

Yes, there were toilets in the Middle Ages, but the types and availability of toilets varied depending on the time period and social status of the individuals. Toilets in the Middle Ages were quite different from modern ones.

To get a better understanding of toilets in the Middle Ages, you can follow these steps:

1. Understand the context: The Middle Ages spanned over a thousand years, from the 5th to the 15th century. The conditions, technology, and practices relating to toilets changed during this time.

2. Research the types of toilets: In the early Middle Ages, many people used simple outdoor latrines or privies, which were essentially a basic pit toilet or hole in the ground. These were often shared by multiple households or located outside for communal use. However, indoor toilets known as garderobes started appearing in castles and wealthy households later in the period.

3. Study castle accommodations: Castles had more advanced toilet facilities compared to ordinary dwellings. Garderobes were small rooms with openings that projected out over a moat or outside the castle walls. Waste would drop into a pit, cesspit, or chute and eventually be disposed of in some manner.

4. Explore city sanitation: In larger towns and cities, communal toilets called "pissing corners" or "reredorters" were available. These were usually placed near a water source or over a river, allowing waste to be carried away by the water. Some cities even had public bathhouses that may have included toilet facilities.

5. Consider social status: The availability and cleanliness of toilets were influenced by social class. Wealthier individuals had better access to private or more improved toilet facilities, while commoners often had to use shared outdoor latrines, use the countryside, or rely on improvised methods.

By following these steps, you can gain a deeper understanding of the different types of toilets that existed during the Middle Ages and how they varied depending on social status and location.