The provision of public baths and washhouses was an important aspect of the improvement of public health in the nineteenth century.
They were desirable because they encouraged cleanliness of person and clothing. During the early and mid-nineteenth century, many in the medical profession believed that disease was caused by miasma, or bad air. A prime cause of this was filth and therefore anything which encouraged cleanliness was considered to be an important part of disease prevention.
Public baths and washhouses made it much easier for people living in cramped and often dirty houses to wash themselves and their clothes. Offering facilities for drying laundry was also important, as the practise of drying laundry in the home contributed to unhealthy levels of moisture in the air.
Find out more about baths and washhouses in Sunderland by visiting the pages below.