8 August 2019

The Lord Leycester Hospital

A short walk from Warwick Castle is the Lord Leycester Hospital, a little medieval gem. It's a cluster of timber-framed buildings dating mainly from the late 14th century. 

A fine example of medieval courtyard architecture it was home to Warwick's Guilds for nearly 200 years.

The 12th century Chantry Chapel to the left.

is very pretty inside

The Lord Leycester is one of the best-preserved timber-framed buildings in England

The Guild of St George was created under a license issued by King Richard II on 20th April, 1383, and Thomas Beauchamp granted the benefice of the Chantry Chapel to the Guild on its formation.  To accommodate the resident priests and the guilds, reception, meeting and dining halls were built as well as living quarters. They became known as the United Guilds of Warwick.

Looking along the main table in the large hall.

Blue and gold porcupine emblem of the Sidney Family. The Bear and Ragged Staff. Medieval legends have it that the Earl of Warwick at the time of King Arthur was called Arthgal, which was thought to have come from the Welsh word 'artos' or bear. The ragged staff came from a legend about another Earl of Warwick Morvidus, who polished off a giant using the broken branch of a tree. In truth the bear was a heraldic symbol of courage, but the old stories are entertaining.

In 1571 Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester acquired the buildings and was granted a charter from Queen Elizabeth I to create a home for aged and infirm soldiers. These soldiers are known to this day as the Brethren and with the Master, still live within the walls of the building. Master and Brethren are a living legacy of almost 450 years of history. Every morning they meet in the Chapel and pray together the words written by their founder Robert Dudley. You can often see the Brethren in ceremonial uniform as they give tours through the buildings and gardens. ​

For those of you, who like me, are fans of the BBC's sleuthing duo Shakespeare & Hathaway 
this is the stairway used in the show leading up to their office.
Doctor Who's tardis once landed in this courtyard and the buildings have been used in many historical television productions including Pride and Prejudice, Tom Jones, Moll Flanders, 
A Christmas Carol and The Shakespeare Code.  

The gardens are very pretty

The Brethren’s Kitchen has served food to Kings, Tudor nobles, 
Guildsmen, monks and the Brethren for 500 years. 
In bygone days, vegetables, herbs and fruit were grown in the Masters Garden, cooked in the Brethren's Kitchen and served in the Great Hall at lavish banquets. Today the Brethren's Kitchen is open to visitors and the general public, for breakfast, light lunch and cream teas. Food is homemade, fresh and, when in season, uses produce from the Master's Garden. 

Time for a delicious cream tea before leaving.

Be well ~
Polly x


  1. It was lovely to see this Polly as It bought back lovely family memories for me. It is where we held my youngest son and new DiL's wedding reception which made the perfect backdrop to their happy day.

    1. Hello Rosemary, as I was walking around the rooms and gardens I kept thinking what a beautiful venue it would be for a wedding.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...