Tuesday, February 19, 2008

At your convenience

A three-seater outside toilet in Kent has been listed as a building of special architectural and historical importance. The oak bolthole, beside a farmhouse in Benenden, was built in 1775 and was still being used into the 1960s. The Grade II-listed privy has two full-size seats and a child-size one.

"Having children of my own and knowing what a devil it is to potty train them I thought how wonderful it must have been," said owner Mary Kellett. "You could take your child along with you and hopefully it would get the message quite quickly."

The contents of the privy were collected in a bucket, which could then be removed via a trap door at the back and used to make fertiliser.

Emily Gee, of English Heritage, said there were several hundred listed toilets - some rural privies and some urban public conveniences. "There are a few others with three seats - but only a handful - it is quite rare," she said.

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