The latrine buildings were in two wings at the back of the rear building. The drawing shows eight privies in each latrine building. Oddly enough, a urinal is also drawn on the latrine building closest to the women’s wing.

Drawing from Henry Vandyke Carter: Report on Leprosy and Leper-asylums in Norway; with references to India (1874)

The annual reports describe that the latrines were emptied by carts being pushed under them as often as necessary. In 1859, a water hose was connected to the water pipe so that the floor could be hosed down – ‘after which one was free of being bothered by stench’.

Pleiestiftelsen hospital. Cropped photo: Knud Knudsen. University of Bergen Library.
In this detail from a photo from around 1865, you can see the rear building with the latrines on each side.
Photo: Knud Knudsen. The University of Bergen Library.

The latrines were located some distance from the main building and were probably mostly used during the day. It was a long way to go for bedridden or incapacitated residents, and many used chamber pots. The smell of the pots was considered problematic and, in 1865, they switched from zinc pots to porcelain pots, which were easier to keep clean. According to head physician Løberg, they did not retain the smell of excrement in the same way as the zinc pots. The smell also led to discussion about airing the rooms. All rooms were meant to be aired by keeping a window open during the day, but many of the residents kept their windows closed, as this is what they were used to from home.

The latrines were later moved from the rear building to two small extensions on the two main wings. In a floor plan from 1918, there appear to be five privies and two WCs in each of the two buildings.

Drawing from 1918. Regional State Archives of Bergen.
Floor plan from 1918, showing when the latrines were moved from the rear building to two small extensions on the two main wings of the hospital.
The Regional State Archives of Bergen.

Pleiestiftelsen hospital. Cropped photo: Widerøe's Flyveselskap A/S. University of Bergen Library.
This photograph from the 1930’s shows that the latrines behind the rear building have been demolished and that the extensions that housed the new privies have been added to both wings.
Photo: Widerøe’s Flyveselskap A/S. The University of Bergen Library.

In the annual report from 1857, it appears that head physician Løberg was already displeased with the latrines: ‘The latrines are in my opinion badly constructed, and even though they are cleaned as frequently and thoroughly as is reasonable, it is not possible to prevent the wing of the hospital to where the wind carries the emanations from them, from being filled with stench. To prevent the nuisance this causes, it is unavoidable that they must be rebuilt.’
Bergen City Archives.
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