Hospital of St Cross and Almshouse of Noble Poverty
Grade I listed 12th-century almshouses in Winchester
The Hospital of St Cross and Almshouse of Noble Poverty is a Grade I listed site founded in 1136 by Henry of Bois, Bishop of Winchester and grandson of William the Conqueror. It takes the form of two quadrangles, the smaller outer quad originally housing service accommodation and the inner quad with the almshouses and Brethren’s Hall. The 12th and 13th-century church in the south-east corner of the site is architecturally significant and far grander than typical almshouse chapels. List entry:
Founded 1136 by Henry de Blois, Bishop of Winchester. Church Transitional Norman C12 and C13. Cruciform with massive central Tower. The buildings apart from the Church were enlarged during the Bishopric of Cardinal Beaufort early C15 and are principally of this period. Buildings entered from small court through Entrance Gate (C14 -15 detail), but with stone. HC 1675, to main quadrangle, with range of fourteen 2-storey almshouses with one tall shafted chimney to each house. The Hall with graceful 2-light windows adjoins on the West side the Main Gate Tower, which has a range of buildings over a cloister on the East side linking the Tower with the Church. One of the most beautiful groups of buildings in the country. The church was restored by Butterfield in 1864-5. Varying dates and rebuildings. The buildings of the Hospital of St Cross form a group.
The Hospital of St Cross still houses 25 ‘brothers’ and PBA have been working closely with the organisation to develop a scheme of repair and improvement works to the accommodation with the aim of updating facilities without compromising the historical character of the place. PBA will draw on experience from similarities with its award-winning Royal Hospital Chelsea long Wards project.