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Tynemouth, St. Leonard's Hospital
Health and Welfare
It has been suggested that the hospital was founded before c.1220, but the earliest documentary reference is 1293 when it may have been partly under Tynemouth Priory and partly under Newcastle Nunnery, although this is not explicitly documented. The hospital and the priory church may have been alternative burial grounds, and many people were buried here during the Civil War when access to the priory church was restricted. The latest recorded burial at the Spital was 1708; later in the 18th century it was said to be in ruins in pasture land. In 1885 the Duke of Northumberland gave the land for a park and during the laying out of this workmen rediscovered the hospital, including tiled and stone paved floors, two stone coffins, a limestone brass matrix and worked stones. A few skeletons and grave covers were also found. During 2011 an evaluation excavation project was carried out by The Archaeological Practice Ltd. In conjunction with the local community following documentary research and a geophysical investigation. The possible remains of St. Leonard's Hospital or a later ancillary building were excavated. These remains were the ones first exposed in 1885. The building was of crude construction and its flagged floor may have incorporated a reused 15th century burial monument. This evidence suggests the building may be an ancillary building to the original hospital perhaps retained after the Dissolution and modified by the laying of a flagged floor incorporating material from the demolished chapel.
<< HER 131 >> J. Brand, 1789, Newcastle upon Tyne II, p. 91 and note v. H.A. Adamson, 1889, The Hospital of St. Leonard,Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle 2, III, pp. 35-6 S.S. Carr, 1904, The Early Monumental Remains of Tynemouth, Archaeologia Aeliana, 2, XXV, pp. 130-131 H.H.E. Craster, 1907, Northumberland County History, VIII, pp. 259-260 D. Knowles & R.N. Hadcock, 1971, Medieval Religious Houses England and Wales p. 399 Photo B. Harbottle, 1988, Stone coffins and brass matrix W.S. Gibson, 1846, The History of the Monastery at Tynemouth, I, 217-18 W.W. Tomlinson, 1888, Comprehensive Guide to Northumberland, p 46 W.S. Garson, 1926, The Origin of North Shields p 6 W.W. Tomlinson, 1888, Comprehensive Guide to Northumberland, p 46 W.S. Garson, 1926, The Origin of North Shields p 6 Shields Daily News, 5th January 1885, p4, col 2; The Archaeological Practice Ltd. 2012, Northumberland Park, King Edward Road, Tynemouth - Archaeological Evaluation; Timescape Surveys 2011, St Leonard's Medieval Hospital, Northumberland Park, North Tyneside - Geophysical Survey