Roche Abbey: the reredorters
The monks’ toilet block,
known as the reredorter, was conveniently placed to the south-east
of their dormitory, and the foundations of this building can still
be seen on both sides of the bank. It was built over the stream
so that waste would be carried away by running water. The lay-brothers and guests had their own latrine blocks, adjoining the buildings
assigned to their use.
There were two doors to the latrines, one to enter and one to
leave, thereby ensuring one-way traffic. Inside, a line of
set against the southern wall. Each privy would have been separated
by a screen and had a removable wooden seat. The brethren were
allowed to use the toilets whenever necessary but were expected
to exercise modesty at all times: they were to cover their faces
with their hoods, fold their hands in front of them and ensure
that their cowls reached the floor.