The Winchester Geese – medieval prostitution


The Templar Knight

A rather quaint term for prostitutes in medieval London was the ‘Winchester Geese‘. The reason being that the brothels that served Londoners on the south side of the Thames, in the district of Southwark, fell under the Bishop of Winchester. Far from being displeased by the presence of these licentious houses, the good bishop taxed them with gusto – as recorded in the court rolls.

You can still see remains of the 12th century Winchester Palace today in Southwark. The bishop took his title from the city of Winchester, which had been the capital of England during the Saxon and early medieval period. London, however, emerged as the top city and the bishop’s most impressive residence was what we see a sad remnant of today. Southwark cathedral, which was part of a large complex of religious buildings, is still there – though heavily restored…

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By heathenramblings Posted in Personal

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