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Tyne and Wear HER(296): Newcastle, Barras Bridge, Hospital of St. Mary Magdalene - Details

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Newcastle, Barras Bridge, Hospital of St. Mary Magdalene



Health and Welfare


Leper Hospital



Documentary Evidence

Said to have been founded as a leper hospital by Henry I or possibly Edward I, but there is no documentary evidence for its existence until somewhat later. Although supposed to have been dissolved by Henry VIII, there is documentary evidence to show it survived through the 16th century. It was refounded by James I in 1611 when the chapel of St. Thomas the Martyr on Tyne Bridge was annexed to it. It seems to have functioned until at least 1786, but in 1789 the antiquarian, Brand noted that what was left of the building had been converted into dwelling houses. Richardson's etching of 1826 is the only known view, and it was demolished c.1825-1830 when St. Thomas' church was erected on or near the site. The precise site of the hospital is uncertain, but it was probably on the north side of the west end of St. Mary's Place, under St. Thomas' churchyard. Excavation in 1997 in advance of road widening of St Mary's Place failed to find any evidence of the hospital.




<< HER 296 >> Mary Magdalene, MSS MM etc -Tyne and Wear Archive Service. Mary Magdalene, MSS, 1732, MM Q/1/52 (Long Box 62) (and 285.68, a second copy)- Tyne and Wear Archive Service H. Bourne, 1736, History of Newcastle J. Brand, 1789, History of Newcastle, Vol. I, pp. 424-31, 648-9 E. Mackenzie, 1827, History of Newcastle T. Oliver, 1831, A Picture of old Newcastle upon Tyne T.M. Richardson, 1880, Memorials of old Newcastle-upon-Tyne, no. XXI R.J. Charleton, (date unknown) History of Newcastle, pp. 364-6 R. Welford, History of Newcastle and Gateshead, Vol. III, p. 123 F.W. Dendy, 1904, An Account of Jesmond, Archaeologia Aeliana, 3, I, pp. 25 and note, 151-4

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