“Mooke, fylthe and other vyle things”: Tudor dirt and dung

Pamela Hartshorne describes householders' daily battles with rotting vegetation, dung heaps and overflowing cesspits in Tudor England

An illustration of a Tudor street

This article was first published in the August 2014 issue of BBC History Magazine

Faeces, dung and droppings… blood, urine and slops. These words hardly conjure the drama and glamour of Shakespeare’s Globe or the Elizabethan court, but for the ordinary inhabitants of Tudor towns, they were an everyday fact of life.

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