The Lord Leycester Hospital will celebrate 450 years since it was founded by Robert Dudley in 2021. However, the stunning Medieval architecture that Robert Dudley and many visitors ever since have fallen in love with is literally crumbling before our eyes; plaster work is flaking off, timbers are rotting and stonework shows the evidence of centuries of weathering.
Our project LLH450 is a capital project designed to instigate a full programme of conservation maintenance and significantly improve the site as a heritage attraction for visitors.
Our project has been costed at a total of £4.1 million so far. In June 2019 we were awarded a phase 1 grant from the Heritgae Lottery Fund to develop the design and proposal for a phase 2 submission worth £3.5 million. However, we still need to raise £1 million ourselves in partner funding.
Project LLH 450 will involve transforming our existing buildings to create a welcoming, informative and stimulating visitor attraction in the center of historic Warwick. We aim to improve access for our disabled visitors, create a learning center and improve archiving and historical interpretation.
Lord Leycester Hospital receives National Lottery support
The Lord Leycester Hospital has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for “Project Seven Centuries of Midlands Civic Heritage” a restoration and revival project of the 700 year old buildings in the centre of Warwick. Made possible by National Lottery players, the project aims to unlock the heritage and history of these medieval buildings that have been at the centre of the civic and philanthropic life of Warwick since the 14th century.
Development funding of over £200,000 has also been awarded to help the Lord Leycester Hospital progress their plans to apply for a full grant at a later date.
The project aims to restore the fabric of the historic buildings that are currently open to the public; reveal new areas never publicly seen before including the medieval wall of Warwick, and create a modern exhibition facility to tell the stories of seven centuries of Warwick civic and philanthropic life to new audiences of all ages.
Master of the Lord Leycester, Heidi Meyer said “Our vision is a revitalised historic icon in the centre of Warwick reconnected to its community more than ever before, making it relevant to new communities and contemporary town life. We are grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for opening the doors for us to start this work.”
A revitalised LLH will offer a unique visitor experience that gives the Visitor a glimpse into the life and community of medieval Guilds and then later as a Hospital created by Lord Dudley, Earl of Leycester as a home and place of sanctuary for wounded warriors of the Elizabethan age. Four hundred and fifty years later the mission of the Lord Leycester is unchanged as sanctuary is given to young soldiers who fought in our modern wars and well deserving older soldiers. It is Warwickshire’s equivalent of the Royal Hospital Chelsea – but smaller and older. The Lord Leycester Great Hall was built as a grand events hall in the middle ages and today many local weddings and celebrations take place in the same timbered roof hall seven hundred years later.