Hospital of St Cross Museums
Set in open meadow land to the south of Winchester, the Hospital of St Cross was founded in the 1130's by Bishop Henry of Blois for `thirteen poor men, feeble and so reduced in strength that they can scarcely or not at all support themselves without other aid'. The hospital was placed under the care of the Knights of St John, and the thirteen Brothers of this foundation still wear black gowns and a badge depicting the Jerusalem Cross.
The Chapel was started in the 1160's and retains much of it's late Norman purity, despite being somewhat altered in the 14th and early 15th centuries. The number of Brethren was enlarged in the 15th century by Cardinal Beaufort, who provided for a second order of almsmen, the `Noble Order of Poverty'. Brethren of this order wear magenta gowns.
The octagonal chimneys mark the Brethren's lodgings, built about 1445 by Cardinal Beaufort. On the East side of the Chapel may be seen a graveyard wherein are interred the remains of various Masters and Brethren. Apart from providing for the Brethren, Almsgiving is still practised in the form of the `Wayfarers Dole'. A piece of white bread and a cup of good beer or Ale may be obtained by knocking at the door of the Porters Lodge, and requesting the Dole. .
AddressSt Cross, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 9SD
Opening times9.30am - 5pm
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