Public Health and Social Welfare

Leprosy…..Plague…..Cholera; pandemics from bygone ages that wreaked havoc on unprotected populations. By delving into archives, studying artefacts, interviewing hospital staff and patients, and undertaking archaeological research, we have been building up a picture of historical diseases and health provision from medieval times to the mid 20th century

Our research has revealed some stomach churning, yet moving, accounts of life in the 18th century workhouse as well as patients (including children) confined to bed in Knaresborough’s two former sanitoria. We have also been exploring the role of the local apothecary and their sometimes dubious remedies.