Leech House


This unassuming little building is thought to have been a leech house.  Leeches were stored here, using water from the beck to keep them clean/alive until one of the local doctors sent for some for a blood letting.  In the small market town of Bedale in North Yorkshire, it stopped being used in the early 1900s.

I don’t think I would be too keen on having them on me but I believe they are still used occasionally in some surgery – as are maggots, which I find even more stomach churning.


19 thoughts on “Leech House

  1. Me and my family were subject to some serious bloodletting albeit unintentionally when we went into a forest north of Malaysia. My daughters were little and horrified at the sight of them stuck on my husband’s legs with blood streaking down!!!!!

  2. I like the way that the builders thought it worth giving the leeches their own castellated parapet!
    Aren’t leeches used as little suction pumps in wounds etc. where the circulation is blocked – sucking out the stagnant blood and therefore drawing fresh blood into the compromised area to improve healing and preventing the damaged area from going nasty? I hope they would be raised in aseptic conditions, before attaching to NHS patients 🙂

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