Hospital of St Cross


Welcome to the oldest charitable institution in the country, founded in 1132 by the grandson of William the Conqueror, Henry de Blois. As well as healing the sick and housing the needy, the hospital was built to care for pilgrims and crusaders en route to the Holy Land. Today, it’s roamed by elderly black- and red-gowned brothers, who hand out the Wayfarer’s Dole – a crust of bread and horn of ale (now a swig of beer) from the Porter's Gate.

Make sure you visit the stumpy church, the brethren hall, the kitchen and the peaceful gardens. The best way to arrive is via the 1-mile Keats' Walk through the water meadows; pick up the trail near Wolvesey Castle.