The same day that my daughter and I went to St Mary’s Church as mentioned in the last blog, we went to Sandwich to enjoy some of the buildings that were open to the public on the Heritage weekend. We had spent quite some time at St Mary’s and it was a pretty miserable day but that did not deter us. Our first stop was St Bart’s Hospital on the outskirts of Sandwich.
Looking through to the original Medieval part of the building.
The Hospital was built in about 1190, as a stopping place for pilgrims making their way to Canterbury on pilgrimages, and today consists of the Chapel built in 1217 surrounded by 16 small almshouses which are allotted to the elderly of the town.
I have visited the hospital on a previous heritage weekend, and was very happy to revisit the Chapel with Alice. The Chapel has been extended at some time but the original Medieval portion is still there, and this is one of the most peaceful and beautiful of the many churches I have visited.
The Medieval part of the Chapel
After a good look round and a nice chat with the ladies who were on duty in the Chapel that afternoon we had to decide where to go next. I was very keen to show Alice a private home called Richborough House which was open for the weekend. This house is of Tudor origin with Georgian additions, and is just beautiful. I was allowed to take photos but as this is a private home I will not share the photos, for obvious reasons I think.
When we had finished in Richborough House we had just enough time to visit one more building, Alice wanted to have a look round The Masonic Hall so off we went. We had a lovely gentleman guide round this building, who told us a lot about the origins and charity work of the Masons. He also allowed both of us to sit in the Grand Masters Chair and Alice was allowed to bang the gavel, which she did very loudly!!
In all we had a really interesting day, by the time we had finished at the Masonic Hall all we wanted was a cup of tea and a piece of cake, so went along the road to a lovely little tea room, where we got our cup of tea and piece of cake