in the south wall of Harlech Castle. It's a bit
hard to see, but the photo shows three garderobe
chutes, two on the left built into the castle wall and
one in the turret on the right. The one on the
right is of special interest to castle historians: it
is called a corbelled (that is, built out) latrine
turret and is similar to those found in castles of the
Savoy (an old region where Switzerland, France, and
Italy now intersect).
Here's a better view of the latrine turret, facing west towards
the sand dunes and sea. The design is unusual and shows the great
pains Master James took to provide some comfort for the guards
This wall is part of the
tower keep at Conisbrough Castle in northern England. Two
latrine chutes are clear. One at the bottom of the photo,
one (that looks more like a small fireplace) near the top.
Both sent waste to the base of the keep outside the
is what the seat looked like at the garderobe near the top of the tower before
it was remodeled in more recent times.
This is what the
garderobe at Conisbrough looks like today. The view looking down
through the toilet seat is still breathtaking.
Chinon Castle in the Loire Valley
of France is rich with history. Joan of Arc, for example, was once
imprisoned there, though not in this building (which is the gatehouse).
But enough about history, let's move on to the garderobes. You can see a
nice one on the right of the wall facing you (next to the lower pair of
Here's a closer view of
the garderobe. It was corbelled out from the wall and designed
so that the waste just barely fell outside the castle wall.
This garderobe can be found at St. Andrews Castle in
Scotland. Thoughtful of the poor cesspool cleaners
(but ignorant of sea creatures), this toilet emptied
directly into the sea. The bars were added to stop
tourists from falling into the sea. But nothing
stops the wind from whistling up through the stone
seat. And it's quite a windy place, too!