What are we?
The Hospital is an historic group of timber-framed buildings on Warwick High Street dating mainly from the late 14th Century clustered round the Norman gateway into the town with its 12th Century Chantry Chapel above it. For nearly 200 years it was home to Warwick’s medieval Guilds.
In the reign of Queen Elizabeth I it became, under the patronage of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, a place of retirement for old warriors known as the Brethren. The Brethren and Master, who still live within the walls of the building, are a living legacy of almost 450 years of history. Every morning they meet in the Chapel and pray together the words their founder Robert Dudley set down. You can often see the Brethren in ceremonial uniform as they give tours through the buildings and gardens.
The beautiful Master’s Garden, open all year, features a pineapple pit and a 2,000 year old “nilometer”, used in ancient Egypt to measure the height of the Nile. Adjacent to it is the Knot Garden with its design and symbolism echoing Tudor times.
The Brethren’s Kitchen, in use for six hundred years, is the common kitchen where meals were prepared for the United Warwick Guild feasts in the fourteenth century and then later for the Brethren who took their meals there until the 1960’s. You can sit there amidst six centuries of history and drink a coffee, order cream tea and cakes and ponder the past!
These extraordinary medieval buildings, a living legacy to past times, are open to visitors and can be hired for civil ceremonies, receptions, dinners, parties and other events.