Borough of St Giles

The hospital was founded at Gilesgate, Durham, by Bishop Flambard as an almshouse “for the keeping of the poor who enter the same hospital”. It was dedicated to God and St Giles, the patron saint of beggars and cripples. The first hospital chapel (now St Giles Church, Gilesgate) was dedicated in June 1112. Other than the church, the original buildings were wooden or wattle-and-daub structures. Flambard endowed the hospital with a range of lands, including the manor of Caldecotes, the mill on Durham’s Millburn, and corn from fifteen of his villages. Godric of Finchale was a doorkeeper of the hospital church before settling at Finchale.

The hospital buildings (with the exception of the church) were destroyed along with Caldecotes by the men of William Cumin, Chancellor of King David I of Scotland, who claimed to be the rightfully elected Bishop of Durham, in order to prevent succour to the advancing army of his opponent, William of St. Barbara.

The hospital was refounded beside the River Wear at Kepier, c.1180, by Bishop Hugh le Puiset with an establishment of thirteen brethren, serving around thirteen (male) inmates as well as travellers and pilgrims. Puiset bestowed more lands, including the village of Clifton, a lead-mine in Weardale, a peat bog at Newton, and more rights to corn from the Bishop’s villages (gillycorn). In order to further secure the finances of the hospital, Puiset granted a charter allowing the creation of the borough of St Giles, the nucleus of modern Gilesgate, with many burgesses probably drawn from Caldecotes and Clifton.

Co Durham
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Borough of St Giles

Mythen Keep (Ars Magica 5) BlacknBlueKnight