Dr Sheila Sweetinburgh’s book on English medieval hospitals looks especially at the hospitals of Sandwich, Dover, and Canterbury. She has also written numerous articles on a wide variety of medieval and early modern social history topics that use case studies from Kent, ranging from late medieval piety to Canterbury’s fifteenth-century business-women. She is particularly interested in medieval towns and their townspeople, and she uses such studies in her postgraduate teaching at Canterbury Christ Church University and at the University of Kent.
This tour will take visitors back in time to explore St John’s Hospital which was founded in c.1080 by Archbishop Lanfranc. Some of the buildings date from this initial construction, including the toilet block that only went out of use in the 1940s. As well as this original stone building, visitors will be shown the chapel and Elizabethan refectory in which are housed artefacts and features from the hospital’s medieval past. This magnificent institution is rarely open to the public and this guided tour offers a rare opportunity to investigate one of Canterbury’s hidden medieval gems.