Twelve Hundred Years of Caring
Two historic charities closely linked to the Duchy of Lancaster are to join forces, combining 1,200 years of caring for their local community. From September 2021, Trinity Hospital and Wyggeston’s Hospital will operate as a partnership with a shared senior management team and Board of Trustees, although each will continue to operate and be governed as a distinct and separate entity. The partnership is intended to strengthen and expand services offered to older people in need in Leicester through their Almshouses accommodation.
Trinity Hospital is one of Leicester’s oldest charities. It was founded in 1331 by the very first Duke of Lancaster Henry Grosmont to provide housing for 50 ‘old and infirm persons’ in the Newarke district of Leicester. Between 1354 and 1356, the 2nd Duke of Lancaster established a chantry college here and linked the hospital to the college, with an allowance of one penny a day. Further benefactions were later made by John of Gaunt when he became Duke of Lancaster. Almost 300 years later, in 1614, King James I granted a new Charter and gave the institution the name “Hospital of the Holy Trinity”.
The original site of the Hospital and College of the Newarke lay within an area formed by an enclosure wall and the only trace of the College is a few arches preserved in the basement of the College of Art and Technology which now stands on the site. The Hospital still survives nearby and all the buildings now form part of the De Montfort University campus. In 1994, the charity moved to a purpose-built housing scheme on Western Boulevard where it provides residential sheltered housing accommodation for up to 23 elderly residents.
Wyggeston’s Hospital was founded by William Wyggeston the Younger in 1513. It was licensed by King Henry VIII and was originally funded by the income from Wyggeston’s lordships, manors and lands, many of which the Charity still retains.
In 1857 the management of the Hospital was vested in twenty Trustees, who were required to erect a building for 25 residents. The Trustees also established a school for 200 boys and 100 girls between the ages of 7 and 17. This led to the foundation of Wyggeston Grammar School for Boys and Wyggeston Grammar School for Girls, both of which are now co-educational sixth form colleges. The present Hospital on Hinckley Road was built in 1966 and offers 54 warden assisted flats, each suitable for a couple, alongside a 24 room Residential Care Home named after the founder’s wife, Agnes.
Commenting on this closer collaboration, Duchy CEO Nathan Thompson said: “We welcome the new partnership which we hope will help the two charities to collaborate on developing new and additional services in response to local need.”
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is responsible for appointing the Chaplain of Trinity Hospital in Leicester and the Master of Wyggeston’s Hospital on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen as Duke of Lancaster. Both organisations also continue to receive an ancient stipend or small annual grant from the Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund.