Hospital of St Cross

sights / Architecture

Hospital of St Cross information

Winchester , United Kingdom
St Cross Rd
+44 1962 853525
More information
adult/child £3/1
Opening hours
9.30am-5pm Mon-Sat, 1-5pm Sun
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Monk, bishop, knight, politician and grandson of William the Conqueror, Henry de Blois was a busy man. But he found time to establish this still-impressive hospital in 1132. As well as healing the sick and housing the needy, the hospital was built to feed and house pilgrims and crusaders en route to the Holy Land. It's the oldest charitable institution in the country, and is still roamed by 25 elderly black- or red-gowned brothers in pie-shaped trencher hats, who continue to hand out alms. Take a peek into the stumpy church, the brethren hall, the kitchen and the peaceful gardens. The best way to arrive is via the 1-mile Keats' Walk. Upon entering, claim the centuries-old Wayfarer's Dole – a crust of bread and horn of ale (now a small swig of beer) from the Porter's Gate.