Medieval Tannery

Experience the sights, sounds and smells of the only medieval underground tannery in the country, including the spectacular Pillar Cave dating back to 1250AD.

The tannery was in use from 1500 – 1640. Tanning is the process of making leather from animal skins. In medieval times it was used for making shoes, belts, gloves harnesses, armour and bottles – a viable and profitable business.

Tanning was a very long process and the work was hard, dirty and very unhealthy. The awful smells from the tanning process clung to the workers clothes and hair. The stench was so strong that it even kept the rats away!