The Spirit of Care

The eight-hundred-year story of St John's Hospital, Bath by Jean Manco

Reconstruction of the medieval St John's Hospital drawn by Christine MolanCan be ordered direct from St John's Hospital. St Catherine's Hospital, Bath

This lavishly-illustrated book takes a fresh look at an ancient institution. The Hospital of St John the Baptist in Bath is among the oldest almshouses in the country. Founded in the twelfth century, it still provides a home for the elderly poor. This book explores its remarkable history.

The 'hospital of the baths' was a product of the Bath waters. Built beside the smaller hot springs, it sheltered the poor infirm. When the nobility and gentry flocked to the Elizabethan spa, St John's became a prime site. The result was unique: an almshouse combined with lodgings for wealthy visitors.

The Georgian spa boom almost crowded out the almshouse, while the Master of St John's enjoyed most of the profits. Victorian reformers turned the tide. This century brought expansion. Today St John's is thriving as never before.

Bellott's Hospital, Bath, by Henry Venn Lansdown Rosewell House, Bath, one of the properties owned by St John's Hospital The author launching her book in St Catherine's Hospital