Can you imagine? Whoever first suggested it had to have been laughed at. But as houses grew and trips to the loo got longer, someone did, and got away with it. Someone actually constructed it, and attached it to the back of this house.
It certainly surprised me, when I walked across the attic floor to a brightly shining little room on the other side, to find a small bare space with three lids – just like the one I had seen on the floor below.
Another three-holer – and they were sized small, medium and large! It took a few minutes to realize how they pulled this off. I was curious enough to actually stick my camera down into the dark hole to find out. The flash lit up the answer beautifully, (however gritty the deed, the photo of which I’ll spare you), but with that I discovered how they did it.
Long vertical wooden planks (and painted by the way) created a shaft that ran just behind the “facilities” below. Certainly not as sanitary as second floor toilets today, but just as convenient and better than heading outdoors at two in the morning.
We’ve come a long way since these, but sometimes I wonder – with all the plumbing and water and septic and pollution problems. There have been some modern “simple” solutions, like the “Clivus Multrum” (I always wanted one – but family said no!). They are definitely stuck on modern plumbing and our more civilized porcelain potties.
So the closest I can come to emulate the old is to install a lot of wood in the room and a half moon on the door :)