St Nicholas Hospital Chapel

Harbledown, Kent England UK

Church of England (Anglican)

Built in 1084 as the chapel for the Leper Hospital, opposite, St Nicholas Chapel is still known as the "Leper Church." The chapel was enlarged in the 14th century. The floor slopes from east to west, so it could be sluiced down and disinfected after services.

When Henry II came to do penance for Archbishop Thomas à Becket's murder, he walked to the Cathedral from Harbledown. For part of the penance, Henry granted 20 marks to be paid annually to the Harbledown St Nicholas Hospice; Canterbury City Council still pays the sum, £13.33, to the trustees. Since the end of the 14th century, the hospital, rebuilt in 1674, has provided sheltered housing for the elderly.

More information