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Holy Jesus Hospital

About

Please note: The Holy Jesus Hospital is no longer open to the public, except for special events such as Heritage Open Days

The Holy Jesus Hospital is now surrounded by roads, railway bridges and high modern buildings but still survives as a symbol of how the people of Newcastle have cared for each other since the middle ages.

For 700 years the buildings on the site have been used to care for communities in the form of an Augustinian friary, The king’s manor, an early care home and a soup kitchen.

From the late 1200’s an Augustinian friary stood here. Evidence from an archaeological dig in 1970 shows how their precinct might have looked. Remnants of the Augustinian friary can still be seen, including parts of the church and one of its ornate windows.
Following the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539 the friary buildings were kept as a base for Henry VIII’s Council of the North and became known as the King’s Manor. The tower was added to the manor at this time to provide security for the soldiers based here. A strong room with its original door is still intact and can be found at the base of the tower. By 1648 the site belonged to a Newcastle corporation and in 1682 the Holy Jesus Hospital was opened for poor freemen and later their widows and unmarried sons or daughters. It had 42 rooms, over three floors, which were allocated by a committee who would decide on an applicant’s eligibility.

The soup kitchen built in 1880 dispensed soup (up to 400 gallons a day) to the deserving poor during the harshest winter months. To allow orderly distribution of the soup a maze system was incorporated into the building.

In 1913 Urwin & Co, Manufacturing Chemists, moved in. They were here in production until 1961. By the middle of the 1960’s all three buildings were run down and neglected, they were saved from demolition and restored.
In 1971 they were reopened as one building and became the John George Joicey Museum. When the museum collections were moved in the early 1990’s the site was left empty again until June 2000 when the National Trust acquired the lease. A further refurbishment in 2003 supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund has provided the building with a new community use and restored Holy Jesus Hospital as an important and historic landmark in the centre of Newcastle.

Today the Holy Jesus Hospital is home to the National Trust’s Inner City Project working to provide opportunities for inner-city dwellers to gain access to and enjoy the countryside on their doorstep.

Opening Times

* Please note the Holy Jesus Hospital is no longer open to the public, except for special events such as Heritage Open Days.

 

 

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