Hospital of St Cross, Winchester

4.8
#4 of 12 in Historic Sites in Winchester
The Hospital of St Cross and Almshouse of Noble Poverty is a medieval almshouse in Winchester, Hampshire, England, founded between 1132 and 1136. It is the oldest charitable institution in the United Kingdom. The founder was Henry of Blois, Bishop of Winchester, grandson of William the Conqueror and younger brother to King Stephen of England.It is also the largest medieval almshouse in Britain: it is built on the scale of an Oxford or Cambridge college, although it is older than any of the colleges at those universities. It has been described as "England's oldest and most perfect almshouse". Most of the buildings and grounds are open to the public at certain times.Charitable workThe Hospital still provides accommodation for a total of 25 elderly men, known as "The Brothers", under the care of "The Master". They belong to either of two charitable foundations: those belonging to the Order of the Hospital of St Cross (founded around 1132) wear black trencher hats and black robes with a silver badge in the shape of a Jerusalem cross, while those belonging to the Order of Noble Poverty (founded in 1445) wear claret trencher hats and claret robes with a silver cardinal’s badge in memory of Cardinal Beaufort. They are often referred to as the "Black Brothers" and the "Red Brothers". Brothers must be single, widowed or divorced, and over 60 years of age. Preference is given to those in most need. They are expected to wear their robes and attend daily morning prayers in the Church.
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Hospital of St Cross Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
293 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • We took a pre-booked guided tour through HHA who had arranged everything from coffee & lovely cake on arrival & then a tour with one of the 'Brothers' in his robes who actually now are not a religious...  more »
  • A bit off the beaten track and not advertised or 'self marketting', but that is its charm. An absolute stunning piece of history hidden in the water meadows. take a walk from Winchester, down the Itch...  more »
  • Amazing piece of History in the Center of Winchester, the Church is truly memorable, the cafe peacful and a good cake space, meet and talk to one of the Brothers.  more »
Google
  • Really great historical place. The church and gardens are splendid. The hall, kitchen and cellar are worth a quick visit. I was lucky enough to bump into one of the brothers who filled me in with the history of the place. There is an entrance fee of a few quid, this is paid in the shop where I can recommend you pick up some of the locally produced honey. Some limited parking is available along the street leading to the main gate.
  • Went on an organised pre-booked tour with coffee & cake included, lovely cakes. Given a guided tour by one of the 'brothers' who now live in one of the homes & they wear gowns with the historic + on them. This place is steeped in history going back centuries & the grounds & buildings are also used for filming. Best to try & go on a guided tour if available. Very little parking here but it's an easy half hour walk from Winchester city centre or get a bus.
  • Short enjoyable 20 minute or so walk from Winchester centre or easy by car. Place is full of history and still used. Church is great place as is the medieval kitchen and regretting. Make this part of any trip to Winchester.
  • Amazing place. Beautiful, soulful and founded by William the conqueror's grandson.
  • Lovely place to look round. Well kept. Friendly receptionist.
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