Chamber of Secrets: Medieval Toilets

Here in the states it is hard to find many distinguishable qualities between toilets, but this is not true once you travel abroad. The vast history of other continents has gone through many different toilet designs. A Louisville plumbing company has put together some fancy, funny, and downright questionable toilets.

1. Toilet of the Monks

This toilet is in a Monk’s chamber found in East Sussex. Many palaces and churches had toilets like this one, and if you tour these places you can see them, though they are usually roped off and most tourist locations have modern toilets for the public.


2. Fit for a King

This actually is a modern toilet with a medieval design. It is supposed to look like a throne, and unlike many of the other toilets on our list, this is flushable.


3. Outhouse in Poland

This is actually nicer than most outhouses you will find overseas or even in the parts of your town you would rather not know about. There looks to be a lock on the door, which is not that common and there is an ample amount of space to take care of business.


4. A HOLE lot of Nothing

What is literally a hole in stone, was found in Spain. This is probably most like the real thing people used in medieval times. There was no plumbing, everything just went into a pile outside. Most indoor bathrooms had to be against an outside wall for this purpose.


5. Cop a Squat

You didn’t think we would leave without the famous hole in the  ground, did you? There are many toilets like this abroad, still. Many of them are in what we consider public restrooms.


6. The Chamber Pot

The Chamber pot was usually kept under the bed and used as a urinal in the middle of the night. Some were built into cabinetry for more privacy.

chamber pot


7. The Oh So Questionable

Hopefully this was just for the men, possibly what we consider a urinal today. Some of these actually had what is like a plug that the user would have to pull to drain. They would actually have to stick their hand in the toilet to do this.



This concludes our list, in fear that if we go any further no one will make it to lunch. It is not completely understood why it too designers and engineers of medieval times and even victorian times, so long to make such a natural part of everyday life so difficult to take care of comfortably. If you know of any other crazy toilets or medieval ways of life, feel free to share.

Kristina Carpenter is a writer for Greenwell Plumbing, which specializes in commercial and residential plumbing.

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