St. Leonardgate

Walk to the junction of Bulk Road and St. Leonardgate. The White Lion in the photograph is no longer a pub.

St. Leonard's Hospital

Site of the Leper Hospital

St. Leonard's hospital was situated at the northern end of St. Leonardgate.  It was a leper hospital in the middle ages, founded by John, Earl of Mortain (later to be King John) in 1189-94. It was situated next to a small beck which marked the boundary between the borough of Lancaster and the township of Newton.  By law, leper hospitals had to be situated outside town boundaries and St. Leonard's was on the Newton side of the beck. The beck was called Jelle Beck in 1684 and today it runs under Factory Hill (the road disappearing behind the White Lion in the photograph). The hospital held only nine inmates. Henry of Grosmont, Duke of Lancaster, gave the hospital to the nunnery of Seton in West Cumbria in 1356 and it fell into decay as leprosy declined.

Part of the chapel survived into the late 19th century. A tombstone and burials were found in 1811. The site of the hospital is marked on this map of 1845.

1845 map

Turn right into St. Leonardgate.  The area to your right was once occupied by the Phoenix Foundry.

Phoenix Foundry

1890 map

The area around Phoenix Street in 1890 showing the foundry.  Phoenix Foundry was owned briefly by Edmund Sharpe, the architect and entrepreneur. It made railway rolling stock in the1840s and 1850s as well as castings, steam engines and other engineering products. The site of the foundry is now occupied by a retail park.

Continue along St. Leonardgate and look along Phoenix street as you pass.

Phoenix Street

This building in Phoenix Street was one of several territorial headquarters in Lancaster for local volunteer militia.

The Grand Theatre

The Grand Theatre

The Grand Theatre was built by public subscription in 1782.  The subscription was organised by Joseph Austin and Charles Edward Whitlock who also managed a number of other theatres in the north of England.  The first performance took place in June 1782.  Sarah Siddons, the sister-in-law of Whitlock and a famous actress of the time, performed on a number of occasions at the theatre, including the role of Lady Macbeth in 1795.  Her ghost is said to haunt the theatre.  The interior of the Grand was destroyed by a fire in 1908 but despite this and other setbacks it has continued to function as a theatre to the present day.

Continue to the end of St. Leonardgate.

Georgian buildings at the eastern end of St. Leonardgate.  These were built around 1792.

Nos. 108-114 St. Leonardgate

St. Leonardgate

St. Leonardgate from the south western end.  The Tramway Hotel in the middle distance on the right is another Georgian building.  It is no longer a hotel.

Turn left into Stonewell at the end of St. Leonardgate.

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