Lyddington Bede House
Lyddinton Bede House is an Alms house for poor pensioners set up in 1600 by Thomas Cecil (Lord Burghley) and was in use until 1930. It is located in Lyddington near Corby in Northamptonshire and is now maintained by English Heritage.
The site was originally a banked earthwork owned by a Saxon lord but given by William 1 to the Norman Bishop of Lincoln in 1086. Until 1547 when Henry VIII laid waste to the Catholic church each successive Bishop had managed to obtain more and more land from the crown. The closeness to Rockingham Forest with its hunting and London with the royal court made it a popular palace
In 1600 it was given to William Cecil whose son Thomas changed the building to Jesus Hospital.
The Alms house was to house 12 men (over 30) two women (over 45) and a warden all of whom had to be of good character, have been engaged in an honest trade or profession, be free of leprosy and the French Pox.
Applications for vacant spaces were by direct plea to the Lords of Burghley and the inmates were usually ex-employees of the Burghley estates or tradesmen who had worked at the estates. This lean to veranda was added in 1745 to give shelter to the residents as they left their rooms on the ground floor to assemble in the great hall on the first floor.
The veranda. In addition to the accommodation, free wood and coal for the fire, the Bedesmen and women were clothed in a blue tunic with a black cape and given 2s 4p pension. They were also allowed to grow there own food in small plots in the grounds
Each room was simply furnished with a bed and a table and chair. Each had there own cooking range. The room shown here is for one of the women who acted as housekeepers. If it looks almost contemporary it is because there were residents here until 1930.
All Bedesmen had to attend daily prayers, church services 3 times a week as well as Sundays, all funerals and Christenings. There were fines for non-attendance.
This is the attic showing the construction of the roof which is tiled with Collyweston limestone tiles. The stairwell to this attic is supposed to be haunted by the Ghost of a woman.
This is the Great Hall with the coats of arm of the various Bishops of Lincoln
Details of the elaborately carved oak ceiling cornice.
A very early invalid chair. I hope you have enjoyed the visit with me.
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