When Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, first opened the “Hospital” for warriors there were twelve Brethen. After the renovations of the Lord Leycester in the 1960s, and with new, larger apartments, this number became eight. Over the years the Brethren have left a collection of remarkable items to the Hospital including their war medals, a sword and breastplate from the battle of Waterloo, pikes from the civil war and a sword from Crimea.
The Rules for who could become a Brother were laid down by Robert Dudley in the Rules and Ordinances book. Much emphasis was placed on providing homes to Elizabethan soldiers who had been wounded in war.
Think of the Royal Hospital Chelsea and the famous Chelsea Pensioners and you already have an idea of what life is like at the Lord Leycester Hospital - just on a much smaller scale and with a history that is over a century older!
Today the Brethren will welcome you at the front gate as you begin your tour around the Hospital and if you are lucky, they will tell you stories of days gone by, and a little about the history of the place. If you are interested, you can reserve a Guided Tour for individuals or Groups that will be led by one of the Brothers in his Elizabethan ceremonial dress.
For visiting and booking information, please click here.