Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Eastbridge Hospital (Canterbury)

Eastbridge Hospital, otherwise known as St. Thomas's Hospital, is an ancient building in the historic cathedral city of Canterbury.

It stands in St. Peter's Street, the city's main thoroughfare, astride the River Stour.

The hospital was founded by Edward son of Oldbold some time before 1180, and dedicated to St. Thomas a Becket, who was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170. It served poor pilgrims to Becket's shrine from very shortly after his death.

The first master of the hospital was Ralph, who was Becket's nephew.

The oldest parts of the building are a hall and undercroft, just behind the street frontage. There are also extensive 14th century extensions, including a lovely chapel.

The hospital has an impressive wall painting showing a seated Christ blessing, surrounded by the symbols of the four Evangelists.

The bedesmen and women are still accommodated in a building at the rear.

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