Heritage 11 The Trinity

No 11                                The Trinity Hospital

The village sign at the approach to All Saints Church depicts a tudor wagon in which the Countess of Surrey was passing through Shotesham in 1539 when brought to bed suddenly at Grove Farm (almost diagonally opposite this site) where she gave birth to a son, Henry.  He later became Earl of Northampton and upon his death in 1614 he bequeathed monies for the building of three hospitals; at Greenwich in London, at Clun in Shropshire and Castle Rising in Norfolk.  Before 1879 beneficiaries of this charity went to the hospital in Greenwich to live out their final days.  In this year the Trustees of the Earl of Northampton Charity, The Mercers Company of London, decided to build a hospital in Shotesham, so that no one need leave the village to benefit under the will.

The cottages and the central hall were built in 1879 for eight Shotesham bachelors or widowers of good character and according to the will of the founder, ‘by reason of age, ill health, accident or infirmity, shall be able to maintain themselves by their own exertions’.  Moreover they had to be poor and not less than 56 years of age.  Each must have a convenient apartment and beside his diet and lodging, receive from the warden of the hospital yearly upon St. Matthias Day, 24th February, (the founders birthday) a gown made of durable cloth of a sad colour to wear upon work days, of the price of 20 shillings.

The coat of arms of the Earl of Northampton and that of The Mercers Company can be seen on the front wall of the hospital and on the entrance gates.

The cottages have been completely modernised and Shotesham people and those living within a radius of twenty miles are eligible to apply for a vacancy when it occurs.