Bolton Castle: Look, I didn’t take your dog food Ramsey

I love castles. Just looking at the facade transports me to an era of pointy hatted ladies and historical violence. Who doesn’t enjoy perambulating past a row of flayed men or watching a good thief skinning of a weekend?

Bolton Castle, Bolton, exterior of castle

Our first, sort of international trip, while on our Northern Hemisphere “O.E”, was to The Orkney Isles. Because why go somewhere warm and indulgent when you could stay in a tent in cold, wet Scotland? Home of square sausage and many seriously unfortunate looking people (sorry Scotland, but what you lack in physical attractiveness you make up for in drinking ability and dour fortitude) Scotland had many toilets and even more old stone walls.

On our drive north, we stopped briefly to look at pretty things, once of which was Bolton Castle near my ancestral homeland of Lancaster. Lord Bolton was thankfully not home and due to a brisk wind, the stink of death was not in the air.

Bolton Castle has that classic 1390’s charm.  Charm born of function, stone and servitude.

Bolton Castle, exterior

Pissing in an historically accurate castle toilet would have been a real life affirming experience for me but alas it was not to be. The main public toilets on the grounds are housed in a shed beside the car park. Perhaps it was once a shed. Possibly the very shed the Bolton’s used to store their flaying instruments many years ago. Before winter came.

Bolton Castle, exterior of toilet

This loo is old, which generally I would enjoy, but it’s old in a ‘no one has bothered to do anything with it since the 1960’s’ kind of way. Unintentional heritage without being taken care of or ever really cleaned.

Bolton Castle, exterior of toilet, door

Bolton Castle, interior, stall

Bolton Castle, interior, cistern

Bolton Castle, interior, sink

It’s a bit of a toilet that time and care forgot. Like an old toy that you left in the garden one summer, and weeds grew over it, then you find it 5 years later and think “Oh that’s where that thing went” but don’t actually care because it was the shittest member of Heman’s team anyway so you chuck it in the bin.

There were still a few neat features in the ladies loos, like this groovy old soap dispenser.

Bolton Castle, interior, soap dispenser

Bolton Castle, interior, window

Bolton Castle, men's toilet, exterior

Bolton Castle toilets do teach us a valid lesson thought; that you can’t judge a set of loos without seeing both the women’s and the men’s. I was told by our driving companion to check out the men’s loos. While the women’s bathroom was old and a bit crappy, the men’s bathroom was a fly ridden, piss pot that I wouldn’t have wanted to panic or defecate in unless expressly necessary.

Bolton Castle, men's toilet, interior

Obviously I wasn’t able to catch the swarm of flies on my point and shoot phone camera but believe me, they were there. I did like that the urinals were still porcelain but they could have done with a clean in the past decade.

Rating

Cleanliness : 3/10  There was no shit present but I would hazard a guess that the cleaner is an older woman who refuses to clean the men’s bathroom more than once a month if that.

Interior : 4/10  Basic but functional. There were three stall and it wasn’t busy so I could have panicked in there if need be but with the addition of more visitors it may get a bit cramped and lack privacy for shitting/farting/crying.

Exterior : 7/10  Stunning view of green hills and sun shadows rolling across the fields. The loo is open, free and right beside the car-park which is good for an unopposed panicked run.

Safety : 8/10  The only real danger was ecoli, or those damn blood thirsty hounds.

Snugglitude : 6/10  The place is gorgeous and I have a real warm spot for things near my home lands but honestly the loos were a bit crappy. They needed a good clean and tidy and some thought and love put in to make them decent again.

Total : 28/50

Bolton Castle, view

Bolton Castle, gates

 

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