This post was inspired by Debbie Dog Lady in Toronto who recently wrote: A John By Any Other Name. Read it (after this! 😬) – it has a hilarious video with it.
THIS Game of Thrones was played in Orford Castle in Norman times.
I don’t know who Norman was because the day we (well, they) learned about him at school, I wasn’t listening – as usual.
But Orford Castle, a 20 mile car ride away from me in the UK, is a jolly nice place to visit, it’s run by English Heritage – so, thank you Norman whoever you were.
And I must say, I love the big guns outside! But by the size of them, I’m guessing you had some enemies.
I’m just kidding! See me after school if you want the low down on the Normans or better still click here.
Anyway, back to Norman’s Game of Thrones.
First off, I have to say, if you are going to Orford Castle expecting to see a throne, please lower your expectations.
The ‘Thrones’ you are about to see do not require you to wear a crown when sitting on them. Although I suppose you could, if you had one and felt the need to wear it while having a *crap.
I’m going to come back to that *naughty little word in another post, in which Thomas Crapper will make an appearance.
Ok – so – Orford castle and its Game of Thrones. What was it all about?
Well, I’ll start with what it wasn’t. It wasn’t so ‘exciting’ as the Game of Thrones.
You know, the Game of Thrones where everyone was arguing over a f*****g chair that ended up being burnt to a cinder, disappointing the crap out of everyone who’d been watching it for the last 25 years.You know, the Game of Thrones where everyone was arguing over a f*****g chair that ended up being burnt to a cinder, disappointing the crap out of everyone who’d been watching it for the last 25 years. Click To Tweet
Oh, it wasn’t 25 years? I do beg your pardon. Having a husband and 900 friends who wouldn’t shut up about Game of Thrones, it made it feel that way.
Back to Orford Castle – again 🙄.
The game of thrones of which I speak was basically about who got to use which throne (toilet) according to their importance within the castle. But unfortunately, my memory of the toilet hierarchy is somewhat blurred by the trauma of being in such an ancient, atmospheric place which, I just know is haunted.
When I visited there recently, specifically to get pictures of the toilets, I was shown round by English Heritage workers Jane and Gaynor.
Jane told my husband about the history of Orford Castle while Gaynor took me to view the toilets, or Garderobes, as castle toilets are called.
And although I was chatting away as if I was totally ok being surrounded by freaky ‘vibes’ – every hair on my body was standing on end as invisible people passed through me – probably.
Ok – so I have no evidence of that and maybe I am just another Nut Job – however – I am not like this in all old buildings or spaces.
In some historic places I feel nothing out of the ordinary. In others I feel a sense of peace and in some, it feels as if I have been plugged into the National Grid and the entire electricity supply for the UK is flowing through me.
At Orford Castle, the atmosphere I sense is, electric for me. It really is like a non-stop low level electric current running through my core and, the tiny hairs on my arms and back of my neck bristle.
So imagine the voltage when I went into this passage in search of the medieval toilets hidden around the deep curves – it was fer-REAKY!
The above right is one of the ‘thrones’ that I saw, inside the castle.
I’m pretty sure it is the toilet, or Garderobe, reserved for the Chaplain because we had just come out of the chapel room when I was taken in here, with my hair standing on end.
And I’m not even exaggerating.
I’d already seen the double ‘thrones’ – just off the kitchen.
Once upon a time, these were accessed via an opening in the wall from the kitchen. Oh yuk! Did Medieval Health and Safety intervene?
And speaking of Health & Safety – this is where the contents of these toilets exited the castle. Lovely.
And then there is the urinal set into the wall leading into a room set aside for the castle Constable.
So there you have it – a very different game of thrones with no dragons and no burnt chairs.
There is a least one more throne/toilet, I believe, in the cellar but I didn’t go down there. Oh no! I wasn’t invited and I definitely didn’t ask.
All joking aside – these are excellent examples of medieval castle toilets. And the urinal, complete with a stained wall beneath, is a rare example of such a facility.
I can highly recommend visiting this castle – it’s great for children – my boys used to love playing war games in the undulating earthworks around the castle.
Thank you Debbie for prompting me to write about medieval toilets.
This wasn’t the post I was intending to write since 2014 – that is coming next.
More about toilets on the way you lucky people!
Where do you stand on the real Game of Thrones – did you love it, hate it or couldn’t be bothered to get worked up about a chair – let me know in the comments!