Hospital of St. Cross

Historic Building in Winchester

Quadrangle At Hospital Of St Cross, St Cross Road, Winchester
CC BY-SA 1.0 / Hassocks5489

Situated approximately a mile south of Winchester’s city centre, the oldest alms-house in England traces its roots back to 1136, when it was established by Henry of Blois, the grandson of William the Conqueror. Intended for the care of 13 “poor and pious men,” this historical institution continues to embody its original purpose.

The residents, distinguished by their black robes adorned with a silver crook cross and the purple-red garments bearing the emblem of a cardinal, serve as a testament to the charitable endowments. Nestled around a serene inner courtyard, these charming dwellings are accessed through a gatehouse. Notable features include the 15th-century Brothers’ Hall, the kitchen, and a chapel.

Visitors are invited to explore the grounds and gardens, which offer a delightful setting for leisurely walks. Before departing, be sure to partake in the traditional Wayfarers’ Dole, and take the opportunity to visit the gift shop and tearoom, adding a delightful conclusion to your visit.

The Hospital of St. Cross appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Winchester!

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Visiting Hospital of St. Cross


Summer (1st April to 31st October)

9.30am-5.00pm (Monday to Saturday)

1pm-5pm (Sundays)

Winter (1st November to 31st March)

10.30am-3.30pm (Monday to Saturday)

Closed on Sunday except for church services


Adults: £7.50

Address: The Hospital of St Cross, Saint Cross Back Street, Winchester, UK
Duration: 20 minutes

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