Hampshire County Council helps to maintain a rich part of Winchester's history
Friday, 22 March 2013
Hampshire County Council is helping to keep alive an ancient institution which attracts thousands of visitors each year.
England's oldest charitable foundation - the historic Hospital of St Cross, in Winchester, will receive help from Hampshire County Council for important building repairs.
The charity, has received a grant of £10,000 to contribute towards the repairs of the church tower, including flintwork, leadwork and windows.
The funding was awarded by County Council Leader, Councillor Ken Thornber at his Decision Day on 14 March.
Henry of Blois, a grandson of William the Conqueror was appointed Bishop of Winchester in 1129 at the age of 28, and founded the Hospital of St Cross between 1132 and 1136. It was founded to support 13 poor men, so frail that they were unable to work, and to feed one hundred men at the gates each day. The 13 men became known as the Brothers of St Cross. Then, as now, they were not monks. St Cross is not a monastery but a secular foundation.
In the fifteenth century, Cardinal Beaufort created the Order of Noble Poverty, adding the Almshouse to the existing Hospital buildings and giving St Cross the look that it has today. His image appears on the Beaufort Tower.
Councillor Thornber said: "The Hospital of St Cross benefits a large number of people and is a popular tourist attraction in Winchester. The building is of huge historic value as well as being located along the Pilgrims Way path. This ancient route is supposed to have been taken by pilgrims travelling from Winchester to the shrine of Thomas Becket at Canterbury in Kent. I am pleased that the County Council is able to support the fabric of this piece of Winchester's rich history."