08 Jul 2007 • 2,262 views
The Hospital of St Cross, Winchester
The Hospital of St Cross
and Almshouse of Noble Poverty is at Winchester – here –
The Hospital, which is England's oldest charitable institution, maintains the tradition of providing The Wayfarer's Dole to those who ask, this was originally a 'horn of beer and a morsel of bread'. Today's visitors to the Hospital are given, on request, a tot of beer (donated by Fuller's Brewery) and a piece of dry bread, as shown in my picture, and can take their ease in the courtyard.
"The Hospital of St Cross" was founded by Henry of Blois (grandson of William the Conqueror) between 1132 and 1136, only three years after he became Bishop of Winchester. The Hospital, in this case meaning hospitality, provided a home for thirteen "Poor men, so frail that they were unable to work" and food for a hundred men at the gates each day.
The thirteen resident men became known as The Brothers of Saint Cross, they were/are not monks. The brothers wear buttoned black gowns bearing a silver cross on the left chest, and black trencher hats. About three hundred years later, in 1445, Cardinal Henry Beaufort founded "The Order of Noble Poverty", providing a home for a further twelve men who wear Cardinal's red robes bearing a gold emblem, and a red trencher hat. Today the men are more often referred to as either the Black Brothers or the Red Brothers
There are still homes for twenty five brothers, unemployed men over the age of sixty, who live in self contained flats in a building dating back to the fifteenth century.
St Cross is a charitable institution; it receives no support from central government, and depends entirely on day to day donations. If you would like to offer financial support please look here http://www.stcross.f2s.com/howhelp.htm
for more information.
If you would like to see more of my pictures of St Cross please look - here -
If you like what you see, perhaps you would like to donate to the charity. Every penny helps.