Hospital of St Cross, Winchester

4.7
#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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  • St Cross, like Winchester Cathedral welcomes worshippers. We have attended a number of Sunday services there (which are, of course, free - just like Cathedral Evensong). We have been able to enjoy the...  more »
  • This little complex of buildings is a jewel of English architecture. It consists of an ancient church full of interesting detail and some ancient alms houses and associated buildings all in a delightf...  more »
  • This is a peaceful place to visit a short walk from the city along the river side... It's not cheap to get in £4/pax, but worth a look round the church, gardens and environs...  more »
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  • Lovely old building with traditional well tended garden. Search st cross and infiltr8r dronez to see my video
  • A beautiful location and amazing surroundings (as it is by the Water Meadows), historic building with a long history and it is really interesting to have a look around at. Many events such as fairs are held here, so look out for signs around the area for information and dates that they are held on.
  • An interesting stop for people looking around the environs of Winchester.
  • Lovely church and beautiful historic venue. Lovely little cafe too with friendly staff
  • Great place and history

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Where to stay in Winchester

Hotels, B&Bs, and inns offer rooms on the upper floors of the historical town center's Victorian, Georgian, and Tudor buildings. These look out over the pedestrian streets, markets, and shops, as well as provide a convenient location to the main attractions. Cottages for rent near the River Itchen are set among thick trees near the water, but are still within walking distance of many of the city attractions.
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19 days in United Kingdom & Bruges BY A USER FROM CZECH REPUBLIC June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Winchester BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM February, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in England BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 29 days in Southern England BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA November, historic sites, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: November, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 29 days in Southern England BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA November, historic sites, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: November, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 3 days in Winchester BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Hampshire BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM February, kids, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: February, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 2 days in Hampshire BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM February, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Winchester BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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