Victorian plunge pool discovered in 12th century abbey

Archaeologists discovered a plunge pool built in Victorian times in a 12th century Cluniac nunnery of Delapre Abbey. The bath is believed to have been used by health-conscious visitors in the 19th century. The pool was probably created during pre-was period when people valued the health benefits of jumping into cold water.

The plunge pool (by Culture 24)
The plunge pool (by Culture24)

The site is known for the Battle of Northampton in 1460 between Yorkists and Lancastrians. The Abbey is currently undergoing restoration. It served as War Office during World War II and the country record office for much of the 20th century. The archaeologists were excavating to the north of the main building when they spotted the pool. By late 19th century, places like Delapre had plumbing, which meant they could have these kinds of baths. In the late 1800s there was a bit of a fad for healthy living, and a belief in the healing effect of plunging into cold water.

Archaeologists in the plunge pool (by Culture24)
Archaeologists in the plunge pool (by Culture24)

(after Culture24)

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