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Greatham Hospital f.126

Greatham Hospital f.126

Shelfmark: Additional MS 15539

The Hospital of St Mary at Greatham, founded in 1272 by Bishop Robert Stitchill, was more an almshouse than a hospital in the modern sense of the word. Its constitution laid down that there should be forty poor brethren attended by six priests – one the Master – and two clerks. All were to eat at the same table and sleep under one roof. Grimm’s drawing shows what appears to be the hospital’s original infirmary. Its blocked arcade is reminiscent of the remains of infirmaries at Ely and Peterborough. The building had clearly been reduced in size and split into two floors, judging by the later medieval windows inserted in the blocked arches at the upper-floor level. About a decade after Grimm made these drawings both of the buildings were partially rebuilt. The church underwent further reconstruction during the 19th century. The original medieval aisles were fortunately kept intact.

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