Shortly after his visit to Warwick in September 1571 Dudley decided he would like the half-timbered Guild buildings in the center of town for his “Hospital” or almshouse.
Who knows why? Perhaps it was because his brother Ambrose lived in Warwick Castle and was the Earl!
In any case because Dudley was one of the most influential men in England and special friend of the Queen, the Guildsmen handed over their precious buildings to him by Deed on 26 Dec 1571.
The new Master of Dudley’s hospital and 12 Brethren moved into the Guild buildings and they did not appear to change anything. One day the Guilds were there and the next they were gone. Records show that they held their last meeting in the Guildhall in November 1571.
It seemed that Dudley thought the buildings were perfect for almshouses – they had a lovely courtyard that was secure and lots of spaces to house the Brethren without changing anything. The records show that Dudley declared that they even keep the garden as “greenswade” for the recreation of the Brethren! So the Guild gardens were not changed either!
After almost two hundred years the Guild buildings that became the Lord Leycester had no great restoration or make over! But what would the future bring……should we expect that two hundred year old buildings will always stay the same?