A talk by Dr Phil Marter, Lecturer in Applied Archaeological Techniques, Winchester University.
On a hill outside Winchester lies an empty field that contains archaeological remains of a remarkable tradition of institutional care for the sick and needy. Once thought to be the site of a Leper Hospital founded in the middle of the 13th century by Bishop of Winchester Henry De Blois, recent excavations by the University of Winchester have revealed evidence for a much older community.
It has long been known that the Roman army looked after its injured, and that the disabled, sick and elderly were cared for in early medieval times. But hospitals – medical institutions for the ill and infirm – were thought to have come to Britain with the monastic orders after the Norman Conquest. Excavations by Simon Roffey and Phil Marter have revealed for the first time, apparent evidence for a hospital for lepers in Anglo-Saxon England. In addition, research has revealed that this legacy has continued to influence the fortunes of the field in which the hospital lay to the present day, to encompass more than a thousand years of English History.
A lecture in the Salisbury Museum Archaeology Lectures (SMAL) series. SMAL lectures are held on the second Tuesday of each month from September to April.