Thank you to everyone who entered my short quiz, asking what this intriguing structure was used for:


It is a ‘lavabo’ or bath, which was used by the monks who lived in Much Wenlock Priory.

Built around 1180, this three-tiered stone basin incorporated a siphon system, which supplied water through spouts set into carved heads.  Up to 16 monks at a time could wash here before eating in the refectory.  The lavabo was not, as it is today, open to the sky and to the view of interested passers-by;  instead, it was enclosed in an octagonal building, which thankfully preserved the monks’ modesty.

Much Wenlock Priory is a serenely beautiful place, with soaring arches and dark shadowy cloisters.  You can read the full article here.

Wenlock (17)Photos copyright © Jo Woolf