The Spirit of Care: The Eight-hundred-Year Story of St John’s Hospital, Bath by Jean Manco

The Spirit of Care: The Eight-hundred-Year Story of St John’s Hospital, Bath by Jean Manco lands on the shelves of my shop, where it will be found in my Local History section.

Bath: St John’s Hospital, 1998, (First Edition) Hardback in dust wrapper.

Contains: Black & white photographs; Facsimiles; Colour photographs; List of abbreviations; Maps to the endpapers and blanks; Appendices [10]; Plans;

From the cover: The Hospital of St John the Baptist is among the oldest almshouse in the country. Founded in the twelfth century, the medieval hospital was like a small monastery. Many such hospitals were closed by Henry VIII, but St Johns survived. To this day it provides a home for the elderly poor.

This book explores the remarkable history of St Johns. The hospital of the baths was a product of the Bath waters, built beside the smaller hot springs, it protected the poor infirm. When the nobility and gentry flocked to the Elizabethan spa, St Johns became a prime site. The result was unique: an almshouse combined with lodgings for wealthy visitors. But the Georgian spa boom almost crowded out the almshouse, while the master of St Johns enjoyed most of the profits. Victorian reformers turned the tide. This century brought expansion. Today St Johns is thriving as never before.

The other early hospitals, now associated with St Johns, were also founded with the highest motives, but have had their low moments. Yet all have survived through court cases and public disputes, neglect and bombing, if not always in the form their founders intended.

This lavishly-illustrated book brings to life a little-known side of Baths history. With new research, specially-commissioned artists reconstructions and cartography, it represents a fresh look at an ancient institution.

Very Good in Very Good Dust Wrapper.

Red boards with Gilt titling to the Spine & Upper Board. 192 pages. Index. Bibliography. 10½” x 8½”.

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