Victorian-era toilet discovered in Suffolk library during refurbishment

Maureen John and the Victorian Moule's Earth Closet

The discovery was made whilst the building that houses the library, the old courthouse, was undergoing refurbishment work. Maureen John is the Stradbroke library manager. - Credit: Suffolk Libraries

A Victorian-era toilet has been discovered at Stradbroke library while refurbishment work was taking place.

The old courthouse building, which houses the library and post office, was undergoing refurbishment work when the discovery of a Moule's Victorian Earth Closet was made.

Henry Moule came up with the earth closet toilet system in 1860, in response to the 'The Great Stink of London' in 1858.

The toilet would have been used by Stradbroke court magistrates.

Following the discovery, a trustee of the library took the toilet home and restored it.

Maureen John, Stradbroke library manager, said: "An old, flush toilet was taken out and it revealed a boarded-up space, that when opened, contained the remains of a Moule’s Earth Closet that was used by Stradbroke Courts Magistrates, when they sought relief, during their long courthouse sessions."

Moule's Victorian Earth Closet

The Moule's Victorian Earth Closet. - Credit: Suffolk Libraries

"Unfortunately – or perhaps, fortunately – the bucket was missing but I managed to find one on eBay that fitted perfectly underneath,” Allan Hampson, who restored the loo, said.

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The toilet will now go on display at Stradbroke library on Suffolk Libraries Day, Saturday, March 12.