These almshouses are situated on the north side of Winkle Street, just inside God's House Gate. The Hospital was founded in 1185 by Gervaise le Riche, Port Reeve of Southampton, to provide almshouses for the poor and shelter for pilgrims. It was endowed with surplus funds from the founding of Queen's College, Oxford. This was used in part to maintain the God's House almshouses, providing for four aged almsmen and four women, living and dying in succession, and a Warden, or sub-warden, resident to perform service daily in the chapel and having charge in things spiritual and temporal, as the governing head. For several centuries the allowance was two shillings per week to each. The complex contained almshouses, domestic buildings and a chapel dedicated to St Julian. The original hospital buildings were replaced with almshouses, one for men and one for women, in 1588-1593. By 1855 these almshouses were in a poor state of repair and were replaced by the current buildings in 1861. The chapel was built c.1190, but has been much altered since then, most notably in 1863 when the chapel and its adjacent gateway were substantially rebuilt. In the 16th century French exiles were allowed to use the chapel for worship, since when it has been known as the French Church.

1. God's House Hospital

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A Plan of God’s House Hospital , c.1811-1825

2. St Julian's Chapel, God's House

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Drawing of the exterior (from Winkle Street) of St Julian's Chapel by E J Carlos, 1828.

3. God's House Hospital

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A drawing by R. C. Buckler, c1820, showing some of the 16th century buildings. The drawing is now in the Bodleian Library.

4. God's House Hospital

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Photograph (1941) of one of almshouses built in 1861.

5. St Julian's Chapel

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A modern photograph of the chapel from Winkle Street

see also

Further reading:
History of Southampton, by Rev. J. S. Davies, p450-463. (HS/h)
Historic Buildings of Southampton, by Philip Peberdy, p20-22. (HS/k)
Medieval Southampton, by Colin Platt, p25-26, 205-206. (HS/h)
Excavations in Medieval Southampton, Vol. 1, by Colin Platt (ed), p62-67. (HS/f)
Southampton from the Norman Conquest to 1300, by J. B. Morgan, in Collected Essays on Southampton p37-38. (HS/h)
The Cartulary of God’s House, Southampton (2 vols,) by J. M. Kaye. (HS/k)
A God’s House Miscellany, by J. M. Kaye. (HS/k)


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