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  • Richard

London's last pit latrine?

On my way to the Soho Square meet up with the 'Public Health Architecture Tour' I passed down Dean Street where, on an earlier visit, I had been able to see the remains of two pit latrines, one in the yard at the back of the house, reserved for the 'upstairs' owners of the house, and one in the front, beneath a vault underneath the street pavement which was for the 'domestic staff' who were based in the adjoining kitchen.

The one for 'upstairs' has been gentrified into a wine cellar with the pit itself covered and lit from below.

The house, complete with its pit latrine sanitation, was built in 1732 when, for an economic reference point I find interesting, the GDP per person for England was USD$3,020 (in 2020 prices at Purchasing Power Parity) - equivalent in today's terms to a Lower Middle-Income Country.

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