Leper Hospital

Picture2 water pipeline.jpg

Archaeological work in 2002 in advance of a water pipeline being  laid across the road here and a branch pipeline to the reservoir, revealed the probable site (marked with a yellow pin on the map) of the St John the Baptist and St Anthony Leper Hospital and Chapel and graveyard.

 

The Church of the Holy Cross site is within this view but north of the Old Castle Inn and between the old and new roads. The Old Castle Inn was contemporary with the St John site, an earlier building from the 12th C to parts of the current building in the 16th C.

 

The Leper hospital would not have been amongst any suburb or residential area in the 12th C when leprosy in Britain reached its peak. Sufferers had to live, worship, die and be buried separate from the unaffected. Leprosy declined in the 14th, there is no record of when the site was no longer used for lepers but the chapel of St John still existed in the 16th C. There were ditches around the site but these were quite separate from Old Sarum fortifications.

 

There was no castle on Castle Hill, just Old Sarum to its west. There is an old cannon buried nearby alongside the A345 road at the top centre of the picture at the Mudge Mapping Monument.

 

 

Sources

Powell, A.B. 2006. 'A possible site for the hospital of St John the Baptist and St Anthony at Old Sarum, Salisbury.'  Wiltshire Studies: the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine 99: 213-20

           

Image: Google Earth © Google 2020 © Europa Technologies

 

          

Kerry O’Connor

Local History Group

April 2021