The Hospital of St. Cross

The Hospital of St. Cross in Winchester (England) is one of the oldest  almshouses in England, being built in 1130AD. It is a wonderful place of tranquility slightly away from the centre of the city and hence the tourist trail where the Cathedral is dominant. Today it houses 13 “poor men, feeble and so reduced in strength that they can scarcely, or not at all, support themselves without other aid”. Under the original charter the Hospital was required to provide a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine (known as the ‘dole’) to travellers and was widely taken advantage of on the pilgrims trail to Canterbury through the Middle Ages. Over the years this gradually reduced to a cup of beer and a piece of bread, and the tradition continues: travellers can still claim their ‘dole’ from the porter.

I found myself in need of tranquility and contemplation last week and visited again, taking a few photographs with the M9 whilst I was there.

The Brothers Quarters at the Hospital of St. Cross in Winchester, England home a number of single men in a charitable environment.

The Brothers Quarters at the Hospital of St. Cross in Winchester, England home a number of single men in a charitable environment.

A quiet corner within the Brothers Quarters of the Hospital of St. Cross (Winchester, England)

A quiet corner within the Brothers Quarters of the Hospital of St. Cross (Winchester, England)

The yew hedge and arch in the Masters Garden at the Hospital of St. Cross in Winchester, England.

The yew hedge and arch in the Masters Garden at the Hospital of St. Cross in Winchester, England.

The fish pond within the Masters Garden at the Hospital of St. Cross in Winchester would have originally been used to keep fish from the nearby River Itchen to feed the Brethren.

The fish pond within the Masters Garden at the Hospital of St. Cross in Winchester would have originally been used to keep fish from the nearby River Itchen to feed the Brethren.

Cyclamens growing in dappled sunlight beneath a tree in the Masters Garden (St. Cross, Winchester)

Cyclamens growing in dappled sunlight beneath a tree in the Masters Garden (St. Cross, Winchester)

Detail of the historic ambulatory building at the Hospital of St. Cross in Winchester, Hampshire. These date back to the 12th century.

Detail of the historic ambulatory building at the Hospital of St. Cross in Winchester, Hampshire. These date back to the 12th century.

Detail of the historic ambulatory building at the Hospital of St. Cross in Winchester, Hampshire. These date back to the 12th century.

Detail of the historic ambulatory building at the Hospital of St. Cross in Winchester, Hampshire. These date back to the 12th century.

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About Gerry Walden

I am a stock photographer with far more years of experience than I would care to mention. Located in Southampton (UK) I am sandwiched between two national parks and my home town is a major seaport. I shoot mostly people related images, and travel when I can. I am resident photographer at a major concert venue in the town which means I get to shoot a variety of musicians.
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