Why were even royals in medieval europe living without running water and sewerage?

Did medieval Europe have running water?

Contrary to what is found all over the Internet on the subject, the most common drink was water, for the obvious reason: It’s free. Medieval villages and towns were built around sources of fresh water. This could be fresh running water, a spring or, in many cases, wells.

Why were medieval towns so dirty?

They were a breeding ground for disease. The upper storeys of houses jutted out into the street, limiting light and air. There were no sewers, so household waste was thrown into the streets. There were large numbers of animals in towns, so there was a lot of manure left to rot down.

Where did they poop in medieval times?

The waste shafts of some medieval toilets ran down the exterior of a fort into moats or rivers, while others were designed with internal castle channels that funneled waste into a courtyard or cesspit. Other privy chambers, meanwhile, protruded out from the castle wall.

Did they have toilets in medieval times?

Bench Toilets



Romans had public toilets that were made of stone benches with holes carved in the tops. There would be multiple people sitting next to each other, without any privacy.

How smelly were the Middle Ages?

They were ankle-deep in a putrid mix of wet mud, rotten fish, garbage, entrails, and animal dung. People dumped their own buckets of faeces and urine into the street or simply sloshed it out the window.

Did everyone stink in the Middle Ages?

Before germs and pathogens were fully understood, people of medieval Europe often equated bad smells with disease, which makes a sort of rudimentary sense when you think about sanitation. So smelling bad and having bad breath, for example, were considered very negative things related to illness.

How did royals go to the bathroom?

The royals don’t use a ‘bathroom’ or ‘toilet’



Members of Britain’s most famous family don’t use the word “toilet.” Where they relieve themselves is called a “loo.” House Beautiful noted that they don’t say the word “bathroom” either unless there is an actual bathtub inside.

What did humans do before toilets?

The flush toilet was invented in 1596 but didn’t become widespread until 1851. Before that, the “toilet” was a motley collection of communal outhouses, chamber pots and holes in the ground.

How did Kings go to the bathroom?

In the 1500s, the King of England’s toilet was luxurious: a velvet-cushioned, portable seat called a close-stool, below which sat a pewter chamber pot enclosed in a wooden box. Even the king had one duty that needed attending to every day, of course, but you can bet he wasn’t going to do it on his own.

How did Tudors wipe their bottoms?

Tudor Toilets



People would wipe their bottoms with leaves or moss and the wealthier people used soft lamb’s wool. In palaces and castles, which had a moat, the lords and ladies would retire to a toilet set into a cupboard in the wall called a garderobe. Here the waste would drop down a shaft into the moat below.

How did people wipe before toilet paper?

From Seashells to Communal Sponges



In very ancient times, wiping with stones and other natural materials and rinsing with water or snow was common. Some cultures opted for seashells and animal furs. A sponge on a stick, known as tersorium or xylospongium.

How dirty were medieval castles?

Castles were very difficult to keep clean. There was no running water, so even simple washing tasks meant carrying a lot of bucketfuls of water from a well or stream. Few people had the luxury of being able to bathe regularly; the community was generally more tolerant of smells and dirt.

Who wiped Kings bottom?

The Groom of the Stool, or, as the official title was known, The Groom of the King’s Close Stool, has gone down in history as one of the grossest jobs available. As the name suggests the Groom of the Stool was responsible for attending to the King’s toileting needs.

Do royals sleep in the same bed?

As an old tradition dictates, royal couples never share the same bed or bedroom, allowing them to move freely while asleep. It allows them much needed alone time after hours of being in the limelight.

What time does the Queen go to bed?

Reportedly, the Queen goes to sleep at 11pm every night before waking up at 7.30am – clocking in an impressive eight and a half hours sleep. It’s also said the monarch is fond of reading before she retires for the night, a proven way to improve sleep quality and reduce stress.

What was hygiene like in the Middle Ages?

Soap was sometimes used and hair was washed using an alkaline solution such as the one obtained from mixing lime and salt. Teeth were cleaned using twigs (especially hazel) and small pieces of wool cloth.

How often did they bathe in medieval times?

The monks of Westminster Abbey, for example, were required to have a bath four times a year: at Christmas, Easter, the end of June, and the end of September.

Were medieval castles dirty?

Castles were very difficult to keep clean. There was no running water, so even simple washing tasks meant carrying a lot of bucketfuls of water from a well or stream. Few people had the luxury of being able to bathe regularly; the community was generally more tolerant of smells and dirt.

Why bathing was uncommon in medieval Europe?

It wasn’t just diseases from the water itself they were worried about. They also felt that with the pores widened after a bath, this resulted in infections of the air having easier access to the body. Hence, bathing, particularly at bathhouses, became connected with the spread of diseases.

Which queen only bathed twice?

Queen Isabella of Spain

In the late 15th century, Queen Isabella of Spain bragged that she had only bathed twice in her whole life.

How was hair cut in medieval times?

Shears were used to cut the hair on the crown of the head. At the end of the barber’s work they would place a mirror up to the customer’s face so that they could judge the quality of their work. The barber would also use a curling iron, tweezers, and razors. Each razor had its own case.