Trinity House

Archive Unit

Administrative / Biographical History

Trinity Hospital was founded in 1330 by Henry, the 3rd Earl of Lancaster and Leicester, who was a grandson of King Henry III and the chief advisor to his cousin King Edward III until he retired from that role to come and live in Leicester castle. Henry purchased 4 acres to endow the Hospital of the Honour of God and the Glorious Virgin and All Saints. The hospital could house 50 inhabitants as well as staff including a warden, chaplains to work in the Chapel here and women of good character to act as nurses. The building took the form of a long hall.

When the Duchy of Lancaster passed into Royal hands they continued to manage the Hospital. It was not until 1614 that new letters patent, issued by King James I, changed the name of the institution to the Hospital of the Holy Trinity and established the involvement of the mayor and aldermen of Leicester in the daily management.

In 1776 the medieval construction was rebuilt at the expense of King George III, creating a long, 2 storey building with 23 apartments on each floor, rooms for staff, kitchens, wash rooms and sitting rooms. In 1901-02 the structure was further altered when a new road was put in leading down to the river. Rather than accommodate the road to the existing structure, part of the building was knocked down and rebuilt at an angle.

Today the three key phases of construction are visible on the exterior of Trinity House: the medieval chapel, a portion of the 1776 structure, and the 1901 building. In 1994 Trinity Hospital moved to new, more modern accommodation on Western Boulevard. DMU purchased the old Hospital and converted it for use as offices and conference rooms. The Chapel remains untouched and is used for events.