Monday, February 20, 2017

Tudor Dirt and Dung

From History Extra:
The average householder lived on a narrow street crowded with people and animals: horse-drawn carts blocked the way, flocks of geese were herded to market, sheep and cattle were driven to be sold or slaughtered, hens pecked in the yards, dogs and cats scavenged, and then there were the rats, mice and pigeons…

Together, they produced a mountain of “mooke and fylthe”: entrails, bones and scales, fur and feathers, which mingled with rotting vegetation, food scraps, general household rubbish, dust, mud, ashes, the sweepings from workshop floors and “other vyle things”.

So if you’d have been a householder in Tudor England, how would you have gone about winning the daily war with waste? Here, with some help from the city archives of 16th-century York, are some tips…(Read more.)
Via Once I Was a Clever Boy. Share

1 comment:

The North Coast said...

Very interesting post. Municipal practices and codes in Tudor England weren't really that different than those in force now, except we have much wider streets and motorized transport to take away the megatons of trash we generate. Let's see... you were responsible for the gutter and area right in front of you own door, just as we are responsible for shoveling snow off the walk in winter and keeping litter picked up on our own property in our modern cities. Streets were cleaned once a week, just as they are now, and you weren't supposed to set your refuse up for pickup before a certain hour, just as you aren't supposed to put your dumpster on the curb before pickup day in most cities and suburbs now. Sounds like the Tudors had a very effective system of managing their waste and assuring minimal levels of sanitation, given the material and technological limitations of their era.