St John’s Hospital, Bath was founded in 1174, and is one of the oldest almshouses in England. It benefited from being situated next to the Cross Bath, a hot spring fed by the geothermal mineral waters, known for their healing properties. St. John’s Hospital was established to provide shelter and support for the poor, sick and infirm. Still in use today, providing housing and support to the citizens and community of the City of Bath, this current Grade 1 listed building was constructed in 1716.
This is one of my hidden gems because as a citizen of Bath, we are blessed by many beautiful buildings and historic sites with a traceable history going back to Celtic times. This is why it is a World Heritage city. This hidden gem is tucked away down the back streets of Bath, away from the hustle and bustle of the main shopping area. It is hidden behind the Cross Bath opposite the new Thermae Spa complex. It is accessible by foot, in a wheelchair or mobility scooter. Bear in mind this is still a working almshouse with permanent residents within its complex, so be respectful of their privacy, it also provides day time community service centre. But the courtyard blossoming with beautiful floral arrangements, and the chapel are open to the public. If you just want somewhere to find a moment of peace and quiet in your busy day, it is well worth a visit.