Of course these days the cottage has modern plumbing, but it is an old cottage and this outhouse is what passed for the conveniences. Imagine trekking down there on a cold, dark, wet night... either that or use a chamber pot.
Those of a sensitive disposition should read no further!
It would have been dark inside there, even on a bright sunny day. Note the sloping roof which lets the rain run down and off the building. This one may have been a double seater - there are two holes at the back where the waste could either drain, or buckets could be removed.
|with thanks to www.1900s.org.uk|
An alternative method was to use buckets, which could be either emptied onto the compost heap periodically, or, The Night Soil Man would come around to do the emptying and carting, for a fee.
When we moved to the Byre there was a very large shrub and ivy covered clump at the back of the farmhouse. When we finally broke through the ivy, it turned out to be the old privy, still complete with two buckets. This is one of them. Note the oval shape and the two sturdy handles. You really wouldn't want any accidental slips when emptying one of these...
Jonathan added some huge hunks of wood, left over from the renovations, to create a bench seat.
He mischievously positioned these so that anyone who sits on the bench would be sitting 'back to back' with those who used the privy in times gone by. Boys!