60 High Street, Warwick CV34 4BH
Tel: 01926 491422
These fine buildings are situated in and around the old west gate, with origins in the 14th and early 15th century and are of major architectural importance.
The Lord Leycester Hospital is not now, and has never been a medical establishment. The word hospital is used in its ancient sense meaning "a charitable institution for the housing and maintenance of the needy, infirm or aged".
Founded in 1571 by Robert Dudley Earl of Leicester (he was master of horse and favourite of Queen Elizabeth I)the building contains a Chantry Chapel, Great Hall, Galleried Courtyard, Guildhall, Brethren’s Kitchen and Masters Garden all of which are open to the public.
The Regimental Museum of the Queens Own Hussars is housed in the Chaplains Dinning Hall.
The Hussars were a locally recruited cavalry regiment.
In modern times the hospital is home to The Master (a retired guards officer) and up to 8 brethren who are single or married ex members of any of the 3 services.
The brethren live in self contained one bedroom flats which are free of rent, council tax, water and central heating charges.
This is in return for the brethren manning, the ticket office, acting as guides and other light duties in the care of the buildings.
When on duty they wear a uniform gown over ordinary clothes.
Each weekday morning with the exception of Mondays the Master leads the brethren in prayer in the chapel following a format laid down by Robert of Leycester in 1571.
Besides dealing with the day visitors the brethren deal with the requirements of evening functions held in the great hall.
Amongst the many interesting things to be seen is the Masters garden, it lays behind the Masters House, the hidden garden is tiny, beautiful and tranquil and is open from Easter to October
It was restored with a great deal of thought by a past Masters wife, its planting reflects times past.
Included in the garden is a 12th century Norman arch, an ancient stone vase that is believed to have crowned the 2000 year old Egyptian ’Nilometer’ and a very early Pineapple Pit.
The garden has been featured in Country Life magazine and BBC’s Gardeners world.
There is a Tearoom that serves Morning Coffee, Light Lunches and Afternoon Teas the setting for this is in what was formerly the Brethrens Kitchen.
Refreshments are served in these delightful surroundings from February to December.
It is possible to hold functions in the hospital, weddings and corporate events, for further information about this and other query’s Telephone - 01926 491422
Opening hours are 10am to 5pm Summer,
10am to 4.30 Winter
Closed Good Friday’s and Xmas Day and on Sundays and Mondays
Adults – £8.50*
Children – £5.00 (ages 5-18: under 5 free)
Concessions – £6.50 (Student; over 60)
Family Ticket - £20 (two adults, up to 3 children)
Garden only – £2.00
Season tickets for the garden - £15
Garden pits, or forcing pits, or pineapple pits (the king of all garden pits, made specifically for the cultivation of the pineapple) could be found in the gardens of the wealthy from the eighteenth century, and in gardens of more modest means during the Victorian age.
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Lord Leycester Hospital at Warwick
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