Is this a privy?

bottlecrazy

Well-Known Member
Hi all,

I came across this feature at a construction site here in in a city Rhode Island. It's obviously man-made. As you'll hopefully be able to see from the series of pictures I'll post, it's square, about 4' per side, and appears to have a large slate cap across the top. I tried probing inside, but it was very hard - I could only get the tip of the probe in an inch or so. Before expending a lot of efforts clearing away stuff from above it and going down inside it, I want some expert assessment of whether it's a privy or not.

Thoughts?

Here's the first shot


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bottlecrazy

Well-Known Member
This shows the piece of slate running across the top . . .

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bottlecrazy

Well-Known Member
This shows some bricks above the stone wall, holding up one corner of the slate "cap"

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bottlecrazy

Well-Known Member
This is a close up of one of the walls . . .

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GuntherHess

Well-Known Member
is that a pipe running out of it? May be a cistern, especially with a cap like that. The inside would have to be parged.
 

bottlecrazy

Well-Known Member
And another . . .

RI diggers, were privies commonly stone-lined? The walls continue further down, below what is exposed on this slope.

Thanks for your opinions!


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bottlecrazy

Well-Known Member
Yes, Gunther, it is a pipe.

One more photo - signs of spring, at last (from our garden)!



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tigue710

Well-Known Member
You'll
Only know for sure after you dig it. Most likely is a privy, or a gray water septic. Could have turned into a septic after The fact. A lot of the cities where your at had water collection septic as plumbing was installed early on... But they can have bottles in em too...
 

RIBottleguy

Well-Known Member
Looks interesting. I would think it's a well, but there are stone-lined privies. They are one of the earliest types. The slate places it near the bay, so I'm guessing it's in Newport? It's a shame to destroy it, but that's the only way to see what's inside. But if it's going to be built on, then I wouldn't feel as bad.
 

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