Hospital of S. Paul
Community ID
Alternate Names
Normans, Normans Spital, Normansland, Spiteland. Norman was the name of the master of a nearby male monastery. Sorores de Normannis , et semisorores , 1472 [ hoole susters.half susters,1524]
Medieval Location
Erected at Cow's Croft , northeast of Norwich. district town
Modern Location
Corporate Status
S. Paul
Date Founded
1100 or later
Foundation Information

The hospital was founded by a Prior and convent in Norwich, during the period of bishop Herbert, who died in 1121. The building was completed in 1145 and housed 14 old and poor men and women. Traditionally Richard is thought to have founded the hospital.

Notable Heads

Mary Green , 1443
NULL 1452
Margaret Puregold 1513
Margaret Dyver , 1532
Agnes Lyon , DD 1545

Notable Members/Residents/Guests

Before 1429 the community had both sisters and brothers, however after 1429 it is only women. By charter, 7 whole sisters received room, food and clothing while 7 half sisters did not receive rooms. Eventually the sisters were all ordained. At the time of the second count there were 13 full sisters and 23 others. By the third count there were 7 half sisters. After 1429 the community changes with the new regimen of Master Walsham.

Population Counts

There were 15 after 1429, but more than 13 in 1436. There were more than 7 in 1492 and 11 after 1532.

Dependency Of

The hospital is a dependency of the male monastery at the Norwich Cathedral Priory which is Benedicitine.


Before 1145 it had the Bishop's indulgence. After 1429 the bishop of Norwich named the master who administered the property and named wardens.


The patrons were the bishops of Norwich and the Benedictine male monastery, cathedral priory. Other benefactors included Herbert, Bishop of Norwch, d. 1121; Everard, Bishop of Norwich, 1121-45; Ingulf, Prior of Norwich; Richard di Beaufo, and the Bishop of Avranches, Morel di Morley, and his wife, Emma. Margaret Paston to each whole & half sister, before 1484.


The hospital owned a chapter house and had land holdings. The assets were valued to be worth about 65 pounds per year from the early part of the 15th to the 16th centuries. Sisters had stipends that were often late and rents were overdue.


It derived income from rents. Buldings were repaired and maintained by the donation of alms. In 1535 the donation of alms amounted to about 20 pounds. There were many very small donations as well.


The hospital gave care to the old and ill. Some resided in the community, but not all. Other poor women received alms.

Early Documents

[1]Foundation confirmed by the Bishop of Norwich.
[2]Confirms the donation by the Bishop of Norwich.

Miscellaneous Information

After 1429 only women are admitted to the hospital.

WRL Project
Contributors Notes

S. Paul's was the largest hospital in Norwich with the exception of S. Giles.

Date Started