Building record MLI12696 - St Leonard's Bedehouses, Boston


Group of 10 almshouses, built in 1874.

Type and Period (1)

  • (Post Medieval to Modern - 1874 AD to 2050 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

A group of ten almshouses which were built in 1874. The buildings are constructed of red brick, with polychromatic yellow brick and tile bands. The Welsh slate roof is arranged in bands of blue/grey and purple. There are two gable stacks, four paired ridge stacks, with brick ribbed sides and dog-toothed oversailing courses. The almshouses are arranged as a central block of six, with a detached block of two at each end. The buildings are single-storey with chamfered plinths, sill bands, head bands of tiles, overhanging fascias and bargeboards. The central block has a central gable containing the datestone. The almshouses were built for ten poor men and their wives. For the full description and the legal address of this listed building please refer to the appropriate List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. {1} The almshouses are thought to be a descendant of the hospital of St Leonard, which is believed to have been located in this part of Boston. The original hospital for ten poor people was established at Skirbeck in about 1220. It was given to the Knights Hospitallers in about 1230 and became known as St John the Baptist's Hospital. In 1338 it sustained 20 people in the infirmary and 40 at the gate. The house was later united to the preceptory at Maltby. In 1542 it was granted to Charles, Duke of Suffolk. The hospital appears to have continued in use as an almshouse, as St Leonard's Hospital and the Bede of St Leonard are mentioned in documents of 1608 and 1656 respectively. Bedehouses are mentioned as being on the site in 1781, where they were described as ten small tenements, each with its small garden. According to Thompson, the site of the hospital was on the west side of the Maud Foster drain, immediately opposite Hospital Bridge (at grid reference TF 3311 4492). Thompson stated that nothing remained of the hospital in 1856, except 'an old house, known as Jerusalem House … but which appears to have been built from the materials of the ancient hospital, rather than to have formed a portion of the original buildings'. In 1965, the clerk to the St Leonard's Trust stated that the trust deeds refer to the present Bedehouses as standing on the site of the original hospital, and he considers Thompson to be incorrect in his siting of the hospital. Jerusalem House is mentioned in the deeds without siting information, and the clerk was of the opinion that it was demolished with other trust property in the late 19th century. The present almshouses (still in use as such) are dated 1874, and very likely replaced the earlier structures mentioned by Thompson. There is a modern housing area to the east of them that is known as St Leonard's Close. {2}[3}[4}[5}{6}

Sources/Archives (6)

  •  Index: Department of the Environment. 1974. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest.
  •  Index: Ordnance Survey. Ordnance Survey Card Index. TF 34 SW: 25.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: William Page (ed). 1906. The Victoria County History: Lincolnshire - Volume 2. vol.2, p.210.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: D. Knowles and R.N. Hadcock. 1953. Medieval Religious Houses: England and Wales - First Edition. p.306.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: William White. 1856. History, Gazetteer and Directory of Lincolnshire - Second Edition. p.286.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: Pishey Thompson. 1856. The Histories and Antiquities of Boston. pp.466-70.



Grid reference Centred TF 33144 44896 (17m by 58m) (3 map features)

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Record last edited

Mar 21 2021 8:35PM


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