Definition Of night soil


human excrement collected at night from buckets, cesspools, and outhouses and sometimes used as manure.

Other fertilizers - ash, turf, flax waste, pigeon dung, human night soil - either contained fewer nutrients or had to be expensively transported.

Example Of night soil

  • A rash of market gardens developed in the small villages of Middlesex, Surrey, Kent, and Hertfordshire, sending their produce in by carts, which brought back the night soil and manure on which productivity depended.

  • ‘It may derive from the use of the land for trapping birds or eels, for parking horse drawn traps attending the annual horse races in Port Meadow which took place until 1880, or for dumping night soil from college privies or traps‘.

  • Bulky organic manures can be supplied through farmyard manure, farm compost, town compost, night soil , sludge, green manure, etc.

  • For example, ‘where in Japan, night soil could be used in lieu of rent, in England one had to pay to have it taken away’.

  • Gibson quotes a 19th century writer who recommended mixing night soil - the contents of the potty, with the drainings from a dung-hill - and pouring the result on the rose bed twice each winter.

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