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Monument record MDR750 - Tophouse Farm, Alkmonton - former Hospital Of St Leonard; fishpond

Type and Period (3)

  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

The name 'Moat Bank' to the adjacent field suggests that the water at SK 1896 3804 may be a moat (1) Tophouse Farm was formerly the Hospital of St. Leonard, of which there are no remains (3). Possible foundations visible at SK 18913794 (4). The water feature is a fish pond of unknown period. Surveyed at 1/2500. The possible foundations visible on aerial photographs are a bank and ditch with adjacent surface quarrying. No remains of the hospital could be identified. (5) Tophouse Farm is brick built and entirely 18th/19th century in external appearance. There is no trace or local knowledge of an earlier structure in the vicinity of the farm. The water feature, centred at SK 18963806, although exceptionally long; circa 120.0m, and deep, circa 3.0m, is almost certainly a fishpond. Complete in its present form, there is no suggestion of it being part of a former moat, or of it being dug for ornamental or ore extraction purposes. The spoil has been dumped rudely along its east side. The pond position shows it pre-dates the farm. There is no trace of foundations in the pasture field to the south of the farm, but amorphous undulation, partly including some surface quarrying, indicates former occupation in the north half. The farmer states that this field has never been ploughed, and that no finds or structural material has been found. (6) Site of Alkmonton Hospital for Female Lepers. The farm was called Spittle House on the 1839 Tithe Apportionment Map. It was called Alkmonton Spyhill in 1548. It was formally St. Leonards hospital, founded by the Bakepuzes between 1266 and 1381 (?). It was refounded by the widow of Sir Walter Blount and the will dated 1474 of Walter Blount, Lord Mountjoy gave further lands to the Hospital. The Hospital was suppressed during the reformation. It is located on the line of the Roman road from Derby to Rocester which suggests that the course of the road might have moved north after the medieval period. (7) The endowment of 1474 prescribes that the hospital should be for 'seven poor men .. And that those seven poor men should have seven kine grazing within his park at Barton, and seven loads of wood yearly for their fuel .. Likewise that the master should every third year give unto these seven poor men a gown and a hood of white or russet, and of one suit, one time white and another time russet; the gown to be marked with a tau cross of red; and that none of these poor men should go a-begging on pain of their removal from the hospital. Moreover that every of them should be obliged to say daily Our Lady's Psalter twice within the chapel of the same hospital. Furthermore, that the master sould wear neither red nor green, but upon his gown of other colour, a tau cross of blue upon his left side ..' (12)

Sources/Archives (12)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: R1 DJC 23-MAY-63.
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Cameron, K. 1959. The Place-Names of Derbyshire, Part III. English Place-Name Society, Vol. XXIX.. p518.
  • <3> Bibliographic reference: Cox, J C. 1877. Notes on the Churches of Derbyshire, Vol. III. p197.
  • <4> Aerial Photograph: APs (541/215/3099-3100).
  • <5> Personal Observation: F1 JB 28-JUL-66.
  • <6> Bibliographic reference: F2 JRL 01-AUG-76.
  • <7> Index: TPAT. 2575. 2575.
  • <8> Map: 1839. Map: 1839 Tithe Apportioment Map..
  • <9> Article in serial: Cox, J. 1906. 'The Religious Pension Roll of Derbyshire, temp. Edward VI', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Vol. 28.
  • <10> Bibliographic reference: MS: British Museum Wolly Charters Edward I.
  • <11> Bibliographic reference: Bulmer, T. Bulmer, T 1905 Directory.
  • <12> Unpublished document: McGuire, S (University of Sheffield). 2001. Comfortable Acts? Medieval hospitals in the social and physical landscape.



Grid reference Centred SK 1893 3805 (70m by 30m) (2 map features)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

  • EDR697
  • EDR1459

Please contact the HER for details.

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Nov 3 2023 11:43AM

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