This blog post is slightly overdue! In August of last year I went to a day trip to Warwick which you can read about here. When we was there we visited Lord Leycester Hospital, it is such a beautiful building that I had to eventually get round to blogging about it.
Due to its name I was under the impression it was an old hospital but it never was. The word hospital used to mean 'a charitable institution for housing and maintenance of the needy, infirm or aged.' The hospital is made of timber-framed buildings and located on Warwick high street. It dates from the 14th century with a 12th century chapel located above it.
For 200 years it was the home of Warwick's medieval guilds. After being dispersed by Henry VIII in 1546, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester acquired the buildings in 1571 and founded a hospital for aged and disabled soldiers under a charter from Elizabeth I. Today it remains as an independent charity providing homes for ex-servicemen and their wives. All of this was explained to us on arrival, the ex-servicemen (I cannot recall his name) also informed us that an episode of Doctor Who was filmed here, the episode being The Shakespeare code, with Martha and David Tennant playing the Doctor.
On arrival you are handed a guide, which is the planned route to look around the building which also includes lots of information and history of the buildings. The first stop was the Master's garden, a fairly large patch with an outdoor building, plants and food being grown. The chantry chapel of St James the great is a beautiful, quaint chapel located up a few steps next to the hospital.
After the chapel we headed to what I believe is a dining area, it was all set up for a wedding anniversary. Upstairs was a memorial room, with a little museum going into the war and about the museum. It was really interesting and such a beautiful place to visit.