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St Agnes, Spital, Windsor, Berkshire

(51°28′19″N, 0°37′24″W)
Spital, Windsor
SU 957 757
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Berkshire
now Windsor and Maidenhead
medieval Oxford and Salisbury
  • Ron Baxter
11 March 2010

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Feature Sets

Spital is on the southern edge of the town, and the northern edge of Windsor Great Park. The chapel stands on St Leonard’s Road and was built in yellow brick in 1874. It consists of a nave with a W gallery, a Lady Chapel, added as a S aisle, and a S porch at the W end of the S aisle. In its present use as a Music Centre, the weekly service is held in the Lady Chapel, while the main altar has been removed and replaced by a grand piano. The only Romanesque sculpture here is the 12thc font.


The area of Windsor called Spital takes its name from the Leper Hospital of St Peter, founded before 1232 when the brethren received the protection of the crown. In a charter of 1251, Henry III granted the leprous maidens and brethren of the hospital 120 acres of Windsor Forest for the benefit of the souls of his father, King John, his mother Queen Isabella, his wife Queen Eleanor and his children. The hospital remained in royal hands until 1462 when, with leprosy effectively wiped out in England, Edward IV granted it to Eton College. Nowadays the position of the church is rather complicated. Technically it belongs to the benefice of St Andrew's, Clewer, but it's main use is as a hall for hire.





Arcaded fonts with 13 bays are also found in the county at Brightwalton (which also has intersecting arches but is otherwise plain) and Radley. Other fonts with intersecting arches are to be found at Purley, Welford and Tidmarsh. None of these is remotely similar in style to this one, which should be dated to the 1120s or ‘30s. Its provenance is unknown to this author, and CRSBI would welcome information on the subject.


N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Berkshire. Harmondsworth, 1966, 299.

G. Tyack, S. Bradley and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Berkshire. New Haven and London 2010, 699.

Victoria County History: Berkshire II (1907), 101-02 (on St Peter’s Hospital).

Victoria County History: Berkshire III (1923), 72-77