The Hospitium, Museum Gardens

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York resident and regular contributor. Fascinated by this historic city and always keen to promote local, independent businesses. The man taking the photographs and tweeting from @Jorvik

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Located in Museum Gardens, the Hospitium, taking its name from the word ‘hospitality’, rather than ‘hospital’ was built around the 14th century as one of St Mary’s Abbey’s support buildings. A place to house and feed visiting pilgrims who journeyed to what at one time was the wealthiest abbey in the country.

First thought to be the grange to the abbey but renovations uncovered clues that the downstairs offered a refectory and storage area while the upstairs would have offered dormitory accommodation.

Original entrance to the Abbey for pilgrims travelling by boat

Over the years the building has had many uses and renovations, at one time it was thought to be a farm building and was even considered derelict at one point.

The most significant piece of restoration to the Hospitium was undertaken by the York Philosophical Society in the 19th Century.

The first storey was rebuilt in stone the recreate the original construction, a design which would have offered more security but also protection from the nearby, regularly flooding river.

Renovated Watergate ruins to the side of the Hospitium give clues to the buildings past

The 1930s saw further renovation in the form of an extension to the upper storey and a new roof. The real work however took place much more recently in 2008 when services of hot water, toilets, a lift and working kitchens were installed for the very first time.

Maintenance to buildings like the Hospitium is ongoing

The modernised building is now a popular wedding venue.

If you’ve visited the Hospitium, worked there or have other pieces of information that I have missed out then it would be great if you could leave a comment below.

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