An Investigation of Medieval Hospitals in England, Scotland and Wales, 1066-1560

  • John Roberts

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    Until recent years research into medieval hospitals of England, Scotland and Wales has been a topic that has been somewhat neglected by historians and archaeologists. The majority of work carried out to date has focused on individual institutions, small geographical areas, or specific types of hospital. Whilst many of those studies have been well researched and highly informative, few have provided an insight into regional differences or similarities throughout these three countries. This thesis compares and contrasts a variety of aspects of medieval hospitals, such as the layout of the buildings, the saint(s) to whom they were dedicated, the type of people cared for in them, and the people who founded and ran them, in an attempt to identify any regional patterns that may have existed in medieval times.

    As the length of period studied spans almost five hundred years, it is possible to examine the changes in development of medieval hospitals. Rising and waning popularity for those saints who were venerated in connection with care for the poor and the sick is tracked throughout the centuries covered in these pages. Likewise, the choices of design for hospital buildings from the 11 th century to the 16th century are explored, along with the changes in the status of founders, and the number, type and gender of staff and inmates during that time frame. Periods of growth and decline in hospitals were apparent, the most notable being the falling number of hospital foundations across most of Britain in the late 13 th century and the early 14th century. This is examined on a regional scale, as well as nationally, with a view to gaining a better understanding of the causes that may have resulted in such a decline.
    Date of Award2008
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorMadeleine Gray (Supervisor)


    • Medieval Hospitals
    • 1066-1560
    • hospital foundations
    • Medical History
    • Archaeology
    • Great Britain
    • Medicine and Religion

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