Remains of Medieval Leper Hospital, Saltisford, Warwick

Description of this historic site

The remains of a Medieval hospital founded by Roger Earl of Warwick. The remains lie to the north of Saltisford Road 100m north west of the Vittle Drive / Ansell Road cross roads. Upstanding buildings include the 15th century chapel and 15th/16th century Master's House.

Notes about this historic site

1 Hospital of St Michael, on the N of town, near St Michael’s Church. Founded by Roger Earl of Warwick about the end of the reign of Henry I (1100-1135). Its small endowment was originally intended for the benefit of lepers. Information on wardens and the history of the Hospital exists from 1275. In 1535 it was given to Richard Fisher in exchange for rent and the provision of money and four beds to the poor. Philip and Mary revived the religious character of the foundation. The last known master was appointed in 1557.
2 Scheduled as Warwickshire Monument No 182.
3 The remains of the Hospital comprise a Chapel (PRN 1950) and a two-storied timber framed building of the 15th century, often known as the ‘master’s ‘ or ‘priest’s’ house. This is of two bays with close-studded framing and blocked original windows. Additions were made to the W in the 17th century. It was subsequently divided into three tenements.
4 The SE and central bays are late 15th century or early 16th century. The NW bay is probably 16th century. It is unclear whether this was part of the warden/master’s house, or part of the hospital. John Leland (c1540) describes the Hospital as ‘muche in ruine’.
5 1988: Two trial holes were excavated by contractors and revealed a series of layers of probable Medieval and Post Medieval date.
8 The scheduled area of this monument was revised in 1991 as SM 17004.
9 It was common practice to site such hospitals beyond the fringes of towns to minimise the spread of infection. The site is encroached upon by a railway embankment, industrial buildings, a large council depot and the A41 Banbury to Birmingham road.
10 Photo.
11 Evaluation trenches in 2004 located 13th century stone building remains belonging to either the early hospital or the chapel. 13th century or earlier post holes and pits were also found and may relate to timber structures in the very early phase of the site. A definite later medieval phase was identified consisting of masonary wall foundations and a yard surface (similar to MWA 9224). Other possible boundary features were also located.
12 Hospital and garden.
13 Press cuttings from the 1970s.
14 Note from 1973.
15 Correspondence from 1979.
16 Correspondence about building conservation work.
17 Architects’ plans.
18 Plan of the Leper Hospital in 1851.
19 Material from the archaeological work in 1988.
20 Sketch plan.
21 Observation of holes dug inside the building in 1977 was carried out by Harold Mytum for Warwickshire Museum. The foundations of the 15th century West wall of the chapel were recorded. A loose mixutre of sand and sandstone, either a makeup layer or wide-construction trench was recorded alongside the wall. A single sherd of 13th century pottery was the only find. Later restoration work uncovered several extensive area of painted wall-plaster with probably 15th-century designs.
22 A survey of the Master’s House undertaken in 1996. A post-dissolution date for the house was susggested, which would mean that it was not part of the leper hospital. However subsequent dendro dating found that the timbers were pre-dissolution 23

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