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Location of Spital House Trumpington Street circa 1850

Hospital of St Anthony and St Eligius / The Spital House, Trumpington Street

History of Spital House, Trumpington Street

Trumpington Street Lensfield Road junction circa 1800 showing Spital House

In the 14th cent. as well as the Leper hospital on Stourbridge Common, another was built by private donation just outside the Trumpington Gate. It was referred to as the Spital House in the 16th cent. The building was pulled down in 1852 and replaced almshouses in Panton Street.

According to The New Guide to ….. Cambridge of 1831 the Spital House is:

at the entrance of Trumpington Street, and by its projection obstructing the Road, is a low building and possesses no claims to the attention of the stranger. In Popish times it was a Hospital for Lazars with a Chapel dedicated to St Anthony and St Elizius. Six poor women now occupy the apartments into which it is divided. They are appointed by the Mayor and Aldermen, and each have a stipend of five-pence half-penny per week, and a gratuity of 12l amongst the whole is usually given by the corporation annually. Mr Thomas Day, of Great St Mary’s Parish, in 1681 bequeathed some articles of clothing every other year to the Inmates of the House.

Enid Porter in Cambridgeshire Customs and Folklore p226, notes that there was an archery ground near the junction of Lensfield Road with Trumpington from an entry of 1657-8 in the Corporation’s Day Book which refers to ‘the Buttes at the Spittle house end.’

1845: Romilly records in his diary 14th March 1845: [Mrs James Walter] came begging for a poor candidate for the Spittle House almshouses (a Mrs Matthison): gave her 10s.

Ed. note: In 1845 the meagre endowment of the almshouse had been recently increased by a bequest of £400 and William Mortlock was active in collecting private subscriptions, according to the Cambridge Guide of 1845.



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