Finding your toilet behind a screen: delights of the 18th century dining room

At Picton Castle the guide delighted in telling the children on our tour why there was a folding screen in the corner of the room.

Recently, when I was visiting Mansion House (home of the Lord Mayor in London) the guide explained why the long dining room originally only had one fireplace (a second at the other end was added later to keep diners at that end of the room warm too) because originally there was a screen across the further third of the room where diners now sit.

And what did these screens hide?

The chamber pot of course.

The glorious fatties and dandies of the 18th century would simply go behind the screen to relieve themselves during dinner.

How lovely.

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