The Cotswold AONB Partnership has recently replaced the information board at the site of the Uley sheepwash below Fop St crossroads and the area has been tidied up by the Cotswold Wardens.
The sheepwash once provided a valuable service for local people in the wool trade. Sheep washing was for a long time a traditional rural practice which had several beneficial effects, such as making the shearers’ job a lot more pleasant and also making the resulting wool a better quality product, for which a higher price might be expected. This is evidenced by an article in the “Commercial Magazine” of May 1813 in which Edward Sheppard Esq, a prominent local wool merchant, concluded that “wools washed on the sheep’s back will be most merchantable”.
Unfortunately the Uley sheepwash is now derelict but the photographs on the board show how it looked and operated – do take a look.