Photographs from the Museum

There are actually four cottages in the block you see – one at each end and L-shaped back to backs in the middle. Victorians knew how to cram them in. Water came via the pump you can see in the middle of the photo. The toilets are behind me and the wash house is in the end of the left hand building. No indoor facilities then, unless you count guzundas.

These are the toilets – there were approximately 100 people on site so the provision is hardly generous. They also appear to be unisex. Not sure if women worked there, but if they did it’s hardly the Victorian approach I’d have expected.

The effluent falls down the privy and emerges through the arches in the side of the pit. With 100 people using it, you’d think they’d need something a bit deeper.

The cottages are very well fitted out, though I’m not sure they have the smell right. I’m sure that with candles, crowds, open cesspits and and a lack of washing facilities the smell must have been well to the forefront of your life in those days. They have smell sprays at Jorvik to give you more of an idea. I didn’t think they were terribly convincing twenty years ago, but they may have improved.

Sorry about the low tone of this post, but like any man, there’s a small boy lurking just under the surface, and small boys are fascinated by toilets.

 

15 thoughts on “Photographs from the Museum

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