Contents of a garderobe

Contributed by Cornwall Museums

Contents of a garderobe

THIS OBJECT IS PART OF THE PROJECT 'A HISTORY OF CORNWALL IN 100 OBJECTS'.

FOWEY MUSEUM. Some evidence of what people ate in late medieval Cornwall comes from a garderobe or latrine in Fowey. Analysis of coprolites show that grapes, blackberries, damsons and cob nuts were part of the late summer/autumn menu.

The garderobe was filled up over the next three centuries, providing a fascinating insight into life in a Cornish seaport. One of the largest items found is a wooden salt scoop used for preserving pilchards prior to export. Other items shown here include men's shoes and a heel with wooden nails c.1740s-50s, part of a c.1780 cotton patchwork quilt, a large earthenware cup with yellow lead glaze, an imported Rhenish stoneware jug, Spanish floor tile, a lead ink well and 1675 Charles II halfpenny. At least three items have military overtones - a possible Civil War bandolier for carrying musket cartridges, a horn powder flask and a uniform button of the Fowey volunteers 1794-1803.

Photo: Bernie Pettersen

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