Peterborough Cathedral has a history much older than the present building and its name. Prior to be being a cathedral, the buildings formed an abbey. Monks lived and worked in the abbey grounds and some of the buildings they used still exist today. However, many have vanished entirely or are in pieces, such as the refectory. Occasionally pieces of the abbey appear in odd locations, such as the lavatorium discovered on a farm.
Whilst cleaning a well on the Westwood Farm site a large stone bowl was discovered. The fine stonework led the finders to believe they had stumbled across something important. Analysis revealed the bowl was likely to be part of the abbey lavatorium where the monks would have washed their hands. It was dated to the Thirteenth century, which made it a significant find. Quite what it was doing down a well, we will possibly never know!
The remains of a more modern lavatorium can be visited in Peterborough Cathedral.