Villages across Europe that could afford it built a wash-house, sometimes known by the French name of lavoir. Water was channelled from a stream or spring and fed into a building, possibly just a roof with no walls. This wash-house usually contained two basins – one for washing and the other for rinsing – through which the water was constantly flowing, as well as a stone lip inclined towards the water against which the wet laundry could be beaten. Such facilities were more comfortable and convenient than washing in a watercourse. Some lavoirs had the wash-basins at waist height, although others remained on the ground. The launderers were protected to some extent from rain, and their travel was reduced, as the facilities were usually at hand in the village or at the edge of a town. These facilities were public and available to all families, and usually used by the entire village. Many of these village wash-houses are still standing, historic structures with no obvious modern purpose.