George contacted me about posting this again since it seems to still be a bit of a mystery!
Below is an illustration from a lecture I Googled about the Great House, and I guess it's of men using that facility. Several questions: Were such facilities separated by gender, as this drawing suggests? By class? Note the absence of anything -- a cloth, a sponge, even water -- to wipe their bottoms.
Can anyone comment on this as well as answer more completely my initial questions re: "toilet facilities" for large gatherings?
In looking through a synopsis of David Stewart's lecture at Little Waldingfield History Society re: Hampton Court, the statement below appeared. It's in line with my questions about: how toilet facilities were available and serviced for large numbers of people? Were they separated by gender and/or class? How did they clean themselves? In light of inventories, descriptions of room use, servant assignments, and so forth, one would think evidence would be available. Today, a review of event plans and budgets would show evidence of toilet facilities, supplies, and services since costs, space, and labor are needed.
Henry really used Hampton Court to impress, and in August 1546 he feasted and fêted the French ambassador and his entourage of two hundred gentlemen, along with 1,300 members of his own court, for six days!
Original post from 2013 here: http://queryblog.tudorhistory.org/2013/10/question-from-george-toilet-facilities.html