Our latest Curiosity of the Week is an unusual little building that looks like a castellated folly from the outside, but was actually built to store leeches…
Bedale Medicinal Leech House was built at a time when blood-letting was commonly used for a range of ailments. The building stands on the bank of Bedale Beck and was designed for keeping leeches alive after being collected from the local area. The leeches were then sold to apothecaries for medicinal use.
The building fell out of use around 1900 when there was a decline in the population and use of leeches. The Grade II listed building was restored in 1985 and can be accessed by a garden which is open to visitors. Those wishing to explore the area can take the Bedale Heritage Trail.
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We are always on the lookout for interesting customs, hidden places, and unique buildings and landmarks, to share with our readers.