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Game Of Thrones – Not THAT Throne, This One…

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Would your botty have been good enough for this ‘throne’?

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.

Oooh er – what a big gun you had M’Lord.

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’ll be out in a minute!

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.

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.

Me halfway through GoT series.
Me when GoT was over

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.

Magnificent Orford Castle – the atmosphere inside is electric.

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!

Yikes – look behind you!😱
The Chaplain’s Throne (Toilet)…I think.

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.

You can see there was once a dividing wall separating the thrones – were they his and her’s?

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.

The exit shutes for the castle toilets – not a good place for peasants to stand around unless you enjoyed shit showers..

And then there is the urinal set into the wall leading into a room set aside for the castle Constable.

5 Star luxury of the day. Well it beats being a peasant and getting ‘rained’ on.
Triangular shaped urinal set into the wall – complete with medieval ‘stains’. 👀 I wonder if one could harvest some DNA and clone the castle Constable.

So there you have it – a very different game of thrones with no dragons and no burnt chairs.

There is light at the end of a very long, and no doubt smelly, tunnel. What long toilet brushes they must have had!

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.

Orford Castle – a magical place for children.

It’s not so good for people with mobility issues for the simple reason it was built to keep people out so there are lots of steps both inside and outside.
Outer steps.
One of the stair cases in 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!

17 thoughts on “Game Of Thrones – Not THAT Throne, This One…”

  1. I enjoyed your in depth overview, Gilly.
    I have never seen Game of Thrones.
    I have never been inside a castle.
    I have never set foot on Britannia.
    I am, however, listening to The UK 1950s Radio Station. That has to count for something.

    1. Thank you Myke – your comment is much appreciated and I am so thrilled to find another GoT dissenter! There are quite a few of us apparently. And gosh, I didn’t know there was a UK 1950s radio station – that must be brilliant! I’ll have to look for it.

  2. Omg. YESSSSSSSSS on The Game of Thrones!!! I watched and waited and watched again and again while I waited for the final season and I never wanted it to end! – Now, onto your “thrones.” What is with you and Debbie and these shitter posts??? Hahahahaha. You know it had to be the worst smell ever when it was inhabited way back when. Weapons were obviously more important than sanitation and personal hygiene. So gross. Their biggest weapon could’ve been the toxic smells coming off of them and their thrones.

    1. Thank you Karen and I’m sure I don’t know what has got into me and Debbie (but she started it!) All I know is, it’s a good thing we all live in different countries because I think if we were all together, we’d cause mayhem! You must be bereft now that GoT is over – I almost felt sorry for Garry in the end (but not quite!). Only one more toilet post to come Karen and then I will close the lid on it. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Gilly,

    Debbie is a good source of inspiration. I got a hoot out of her John post and now yours. Hilarious fun and great photo session! I’d love to visit some of those haunting UK castles spooky vibes and all. Thanks for the smiles. 🙂

    1. Thanks Cathy – yes she is – between her and Mimi – I got back my writing mojo that disappeared when I was nursing my dad in his last year. I am so grateful to them and other writers like yourself for getting me back on track and making me show up up at the page every week.

  4. This made me laugh, Gilly! And it reminded me of the ‘game of thrones’ we used to play at home with a family of six and only one bathroom (shudder the thought, right?) Your photos are lovely and the castle looks like a fascinating place to visit. Except I’m afraid of ghosts!

    1. Thanks Molly – holy mackerel – one bathroom for six people! It was bad enough with one to four in our house. And now it’s two to two, my husband annoys me by being in the one I want to use at the wrong moment Yes – those ghosts! I did try singing the Ghostbusters original theme song in my head while I was in the passageways “I ain’t afrain of no ghost!” Thanks for stopping by.

      1. Thanks Molly – holy mackerel – one bathroom for six people! It was bad enough with one to four in our house. And now it’s two to two, my husband annoys me by being in the one I want to use at the wrong moment Yes – those ghosts! I did try singing the Ghostbusters original theme song in my head while I was in the passageways “I ain’t afrain of no ghost!” Thanks for stopping by.

  5. First Debbie and now you on ancient toilets. Some of it was pretty disgusting. Had to smell to high heaven.

    Have a fabulous day, Gilly. ♥

    1. She’s a bad influence Sandee! It’s a good thing we live 3000 miles apart or we might be dangerous. Thanks for coming by. Hope your day is going well too.

  6. Thanks for this fascinating tour of medieval toilets, Gilly, and also for the mention and link up! 🙂 As a history nerd, I love this kind of stuff. Interesting about those electric vibes! Although I’ve never had a similar experience, whenever I visit historic sites, my imagination turns into a mental time machine and I’m right there, envisioning life as it was then. Wouldn’t want to be a peasant, that’s for sure! 😀

    As for the “Game of Thrones” series, I’ve never watched it, nor have any desire to, but we did tour parts of Croatia where some of it was filmed. Believe it or not, they actually have formal “Game of Thrones” tours. Anything for a tourist buck! 😛

    How cool that my “John” post inspired not one, but two of yours! Looking forward to the second one. Cheers!

    1. Thanks Debbie. I’m not too keen on being a peasant in England in modern times! I definitely would not want to be any lower down the class sructure than where I am – people with nothing are now being treated like they were in those days! It’s bad. Excellent – another GoT heretic! Have never been to Croatia but Garry was working for the Overseas Develoment Agency as part of the aid convoys over there when the civil war was on and he wants to go back. We keep talking about it but still haven’t booked anything. I might mention the GoT tours! And by the way, I was only going to do one post on toilets but the two aspects didn’t really mix well – hence number two coming up. No pun intended!

      1. I didn’t realize things were that bad in England, Gilly. I know, Brexit has caused a lot of trouble, but, those of us who don’t live there can’t see the whole picture. Sorry, you have to deal with all of that! 🙁 I would highly recommend Croatia as a vacation spot, especially if you’re into beautiful vistas and history. We loved it! ♥ Looking forward to your number two. I’m sure it won’t stink! 😉

        1. It’s pretty bad for some people – mainly the vulnerable. They’ve been messing around with government benefits for years, changing the way it all works and as always, it’s the poorest most needy people who suffer. Thankfully, we are fine because we have always worked and life is good but it’s not that way for so many now. The worst things you can be in this country now are old, ill, unemployed or disabled – unless you are wealthy. Sad state of affairs. Food banks are the norm now – when you do your shopping, you buy stuff to leave in the big bins to be given out to those who need help.

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