Nice to see you!
Way back in May, I visited Guildford and decided that I must go back again to take a tour of the interior of George Abbot's Hospital.
Although founded in 1619 by a former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Abbot, who wanted to give something back to the town that he originally came from, nowadays residents can still enjoy a tranquil place to live right in the middle of the High Street. As you enter the courtyard the pretty flats surround a grassy area with flowers around the edge. You can still see the lead drainage pipes put there in 1627, the carved wooden doors and fancy brickwork. George Abbot's crest included three pears and these can be found carved all over the place.
A claim to fame is the Monmouth Room situated at the top of the central tower. Originally the room was used to administer rents and other monetary dealings and so the windows had bars on them as added security. When in 1658 the Duke of Monmouth was arrested following his failed rebellion to depose King James II, he stayed in the secure room overnight whilst he was transported from Ringwood to the Tower of London to be beheaded.
We were shown a panelled room where residents meet for coffee and other social functions, which was used in the 1600's as a dining room. The 12 men would sit around one table and the 8 (later 12) women around the other. The Jacobean tables with their chunky legs were still there along with the original uncomfortable benches - no slouching allowed. From the ceiling, four candles attached to a light fitting, which collected the dribbling wax for reuse, were still in place, although electric lights behind the panels are used today.
|Panelling in the dining room|
|A little summerhouse in the garden next to the new flats.|
I'm sure those lucky enough to live there, really appreciate the beautiful surroundings.
Thanks for calling in.
Bye for now.