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Roche Abbey: the reredorters
Plan of Roche Abbey showing the location of the reredorter(1/1)

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.


Remains of the drains at Roche
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Remains of the Reredorters

There were two doors to the latrines, one to enter and one to leave, thereby ensuring one-way traffic. Inside, a line of privies was 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.

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