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Lifestyle

What Was Hygiene Like In A Medieval Castle?

The popular perception of personal hygiene in the Middle Ages is that there wasn't any. In truth, the medieval world was full of hygienic practices that, while different from modern notions of cleanliness, met people's needs at the time. Access to bathing was complicated by economic status, but even the wealthiest of medieval lords could fall victim to bothersome bugs.

Cleanliness in the medieval world was practiced both publicly and privately, carried spiritual and social implications, and - generally speaking - was much more widely understood and implemented than many modern people realize. Tied to health, class, and purity, hygiene in medieval castles, monasteries, and villages meant clean hair, fresh breath, and a smoothly shaved head - at least on occasion. 

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