Lord Leycester Hospital

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Lord Leycester Hospital
Lord Leycester Hospital -Warwick3.jpg
Lord Leycester Hospital
LocationWarwick, Warwickshire, England
Coordinates52°16′47.05″N 1°35′27.62″W / 52.2797361°N 1.5910056°W / 52.2797361; -1.5910056Coordinates: 52°16′47.05″N 1°35′27.62″W / 52.2797361°N 1.5910056°W / 52.2797361; -1.5910056
Built forRobert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester
Listed Building – Grade I
Lord Leycester Hospital is located in Warwickshire
Lord Leycester Hospital
Location of Lord Leycester Hospital in Warwickshire

The Lord Leycester Hospital (often known simply as the Lord Leycester) is a charity supporting ex-servicemen in Warwick, England, that is located next to the West Gate, on High Street. It is a Grade I listed building.[1]


Courtyard of the Hospital

The Chantry Chapel of St James was built in 1126 by Roger de Newburgh, 2nd Norman Earl of Warwick.[2] In the late 14th century it was rebuilt by the 12th Earl of Warwick. He granted the benefice of the Chapel to the Guild of St George, a guild created on 20 April 1383 under licence from King Richard II.[2] The Guild of St George was later joined there by the Guild of the Blessed Virgin, which had been based at the Collegiate Church of St Mary, forming the United Guilds of Warwick.[2] Living quarters and reception, meeting, and dining halls were added to the chapel as a consequence.[2] The Guildhall was built in 1450 by the 16th Earl of Warwick.[3]

The 1571 Leicester Hospital Act, licensing the Earl of Leicester to found a hospital in Warwick[4]

The United Guilds were dispersed by King Henry VIII in 1546.[2] However, their property had already been transferred to the Burgesses of Warwick by Thomas Oken, Master of the Guilds. The burgesses used the property for meetings and for teaching as, what is now, Warwick School.[5] The 1st Earl of Leicester acquired the buildings in 1571, founding therein a hospital for aged or injured soldiers and their wives, under royal charter from Queen Elizabeth I, run by 12 resident "Brethren" (originally soldiers) under the charge of a "Master", and funded from the income of various estates.[2]

In 1956 the Corporation of the Master and Brethren of the Hospital was abolished by Act of Parliament and replaced with a board of Governors. On 3 November 1966 a restored Hospital with modernised quarters was opened by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother,[6] and today the Hospital is run by the Master, a retired officer of the Armed Forces. Eight ex-servicemen and their wives are provided with flats in return for their past services: they act as guides for visitors.[7] The Hospital is funded by visitor income, the original estates having been sold over the years.[7] Heidi Meyer, the first woman to hold the office, was installed as Master in November 2017.[7]

Egyptian Urn

Other historical notes of interest include the fact that the Grade I listed stone urn in the Master's Garden is 2,000 years old and was originally part of an Egyptian nilometer.[8] The Museum of the Queen's Own Hussars formed part of the collections of the hospital until it closed in 2016.[9]

Television appearances[edit]

The building has been used in many historical-set television productions including Pride and Prejudice,[10] Tom Jones,[10] Moll Flanders,[10] Shakespeare & Hathaway - Private Investigators,[11] and the 2007 Doctor Who episode The Shakespeare Code.[12]


  1. ^ Historic England. "Hospital of Robert Dudley Earl of Leicester (1035441)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "History". Lord Leycester Hospital. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  3. ^ Fisher, Stuart (2015). "The Canals of Britain: The Comprehensive Guide". Adlard Coles. ISBN 978-1472918529.
  4. ^ "1571 Leicester Hospital Act". UK Parliament. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  5. ^ "History". Warwick School. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Get inside Warwick's secret historic film set". BBC Coventry and Warwickshire. Retrieved 26 July 2005.
  7. ^ a b c "Caring for warriors". Church Times. 17 November 2017. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  8. ^ Historic England. "Egyptian urn in the garden of Lord Leicester's Hospital (1364812)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  9. ^ "Queen's Own Hussars Museum". Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  10. ^ a b c "Get inside Warwick's secret historic film set". BBC. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  11. ^ "Shakespeare and Hathaway BBC Drama stars Mark Benton and Jo Joyner". Farm Cottages. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  12. ^ "Lord Leycester Hospital". Dr Who Locations. Retrieved 5 June 2018.

External links[edit]