St Leonard's Hospital Chapel

Religious Place Alnwick Northumberland

St Leonard's Hospital Chapel

Religious Place In Alnwick, Northumberland

The ruined chapel of an old hospital located in Denwick near to Alnwick Castle.

What you are looking at here is a ruined chapel that was part of St. Leonard's Hospital in Alnwick.

We didn't actually know it was there until we spied it on a visit to Hulne Park and had to make a U-turn to investigate.

The hospital is over 800 years old and was founded for the poor, aged and sick by Eustace de Vescy sometime between 1193 and 1216.

Located in a field called Radcliff's Close, it was believed to be sited here on a spring named Malcolm's Well where Malcolm III was thought to have been killed back in 1093 at the Battle of Alnwick. However there is a statue of a cross just a short walk away which also claims to be the place he was slain too.

The hospital was an independent establishment, but it eventually became part of Alnwick Abbey in 1376, before falling into decay before the Reformation in 1535 (when the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church).

All trace of the hospital were lost until 1845 when the foundations were discovered during ploughing, including a chapel, well, a holy water vase hospital buildings and a burial ground containing a large number of graves (including 20 skeletons!)

Using the original stones, F R Wilson, architect to the Duke of Northumberland partially rebuilt the chapel in 1848 to produce the original building as close as possible.

The site was then further excavated in 1975 to what you can now see today.

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Where Is St Leonard's Hospital Chapel

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55.422987, -1.704414
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55.420965, -1.706077

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There is a layby further down the road and is probably only a few minute walk to the chapel. Careful though as there isn't a path. It's only a 5 min visit so you could get away with ditching your car on the verge next to the field.

Simon Hawkins

Contributed by Simon Hawkins

Thanks for checking out this place on the Fabulous North! I do enjoy a wander out in to the countryside trying to find hidden gems that not many people know about. You can't beat a rogue Pele tower up a remote hill or a mysterious stone circle or a stunning waterfall secluded in a forest.

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