The Hospital of St Cross in Winchester

The Hospital of St Cross in Winchester is an Almshouse of Noble Poverty. It’s a church, once also a hospital but also a home to two orders of brothers.

It’s such a beautiful place, in a gorgeous setting, it’s no wonder it’s been used by a variety of production companies for filming. One of the most notable and recent was the television show Wolf Hall.

I didn’t know you could visit until one year I went to the Christmas market with my Aunt and discovered it.

Looking for somewhere new to visit? Discover The Hospital of St Cross…

The entrance to The Hospital of St Cross in Winchester, a large stone building with stained glass, arched windows and an archway through to the grounds.

The Hospital of St Cross

The Hospital of St Cross has a beautiful church, grounds and series of buildings containing the brothers dwellings.

But, when it comes to the rest of the site, I can only describe it as a form of modern day community, an evolution of perhaps what you’d expect a traditional monk to be. They even make their own honey!

But, the brothers have never been monks and The Hospital of St Cross has never been a monastery. They describe themselves as a secular foundation.

I quickly came to the conclusion that it’s a community that tries to support the less fortunate people within society. Although despite it saying it’s secular, it still feels weirdly religious. I’m not sure where

It’s on the route of one of my favourite walks through Winchester and it’s surrounded by fields and looks very pretty.

St Cross accepts daily visitors and you can even arrange a guided tour, if you enquire well in advance.

The grounds are gorgeous and the buildings stunning. The church is particularly beautiful too and deceptively large, it definitely looks smaller on the outside.

The Hospital of St Cross in Winchester

There’s a fair bit to explore, enough to fill an afternoon and discover a part of Winchester you’ve never seen before.

My favourite part of the grounds is at the back by a large pond that kind of looks like a long swimming pool. It has a huge tree hanging over it with beautiful little flowers that pop up under it at different times of the year.

The Hospital of St Cross in Winchester

History

The church, hospital and surrounding buildings have an extensive history as do the monks and brothers that have occupied The Hospital of St Cross.

I’d be a fraud if I said I was good at history. I’m absolutely terrible and you’re best reading the ‘History’, ‘Church’ and ‘Brothers’ sections of the website. It explains the origins and story of the brothers and the buildings in Winchester perfectly and in quite a succinct and manageable little read.

Visit The Hospital of St Cross website

Events

It’s worth noting that it has a summer fete and winter Christmas market which are nice to pop in and browse around – when pandemics permit of course!

When I went I got to hold several owls, bought some honey and stunning stained glass style Christmas decorations and tried some of the brothers mulled apple juice. Yes, I did feel like I was at Hogwarts with an owl on my arm surrounded by these incredible buildings.

Holding an owl at The Hospital of St Cross in Winchester

I also tried calligraphy at one of the stands which got me back into learning how to letter again. It was a lovely afternoon spent with friends and family discovering somewhere new on our doorstep.

The Hospital of St Cross in Winchester

Opening Times


Summer (1 April to 31 October)
9.30am-5.00pm (Monday to Saturday) and 1pm-5pm (Sundays)

Winter (1 November to 31 March)
10.30am-3.30pm (Monday to Saturday) and closed on Sunday except for church services

Guided tours are available by prior arrangement.

The entrance archway at The Hospital of St Cross in Winchester

Visiting

If you want to visit take a look at the website for all the details and the most up to date opening information.

Visit The Hospital of St Cross

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