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Private Winchester medieval chapel opened to public
12:10pm Wednesday 27th June 2012 in Winchester
A HISTORIC hidden corner of Winchester has opened to the public.
The Chapel of St John the Baptist on The Broadway, is one of the few surviving medieval hospital chapels still standing.
It is owned by the St John’s Winchester Charity which has three almshouses for some 93 people in the city centre.
The chapel is now open to visitors on two days a week: Monday, 10am-Noon and Thursday 2-4pm. Admission free.
Rev Ivor Dowse said, an almshouse resident: “The chapel has until now always been closed except during services. It is of great historic interest.
“Whenever we hold services the public wants to come in and have a look around. Since opening last month many people have look round, the numbers boosted by the chapel being next to the coach stop on The Broadway.
“We thought that with the Jubilee and Olympics that this was the year to open it. The main problem has been manning it. Being historic we could not leave it open without someone being there to answer questions and to show people round.”
The chapel was built in 1428 but was ransacked at the Reformation in 1546 and then put to secular uses until returning to becoming a chapel in 1838.
It stands next to St John’s House which was a medieval hospital. Patients would lie in bed but could look through four windows into the chapel. The windows are still there.