St Catherine's Hospital, Bath's hidden gem

Victoria Dulley

16th September 2019

Over the centuries, St John’s has adapted and evolved to meet the changing needs of society.

In 2008, alternative potential uses for St Catherine’s Hospital were explored as we recognised that the narrow doorways and hallways had made the building unsuitable for people with limited mobility.

With agreement of The Charity Commission, we ring-fenced the value of St Catherine’s to be used to provide alternative almshouse accommodation elsewhere, and maintaining its listed status, in April 2018 St Catherine’s was transformed into 10 luxury apartments situated behind the Thermae Spa and only 50 yards from The Roman Baths.

The History

St Catherine’s Hospital was known originally as the Black Alms House, due to the colour of gowns worn by the inmates. It was originally endowed to St John’s around 1444 as a perpetual gift under certain conditions. These included a farthing loaf of bread for 100 poor people and to the same a peck of beans for making porridge.

St Catherine’s was rebuilt in 1553, following funding from Edward VI in 1552. This enabled the support of 10 almspeople at St Catherine’s and the founding of a grammar school in the city – now King Edward’s School, Bath. Little changed until the building was demolished and rebuilt in the 19th century, before it was transformed into the beautiful apartments you see today.

Looking forward

The ten, 1-bedroom maisonettes and apartments all face on to the courtyard, creating a little sanctuary in the heart of the city. Four of the apartments offer the option of a sofa-bed in the living room for additional guests.

Whether you are looking for a holiday, a weekend break, business accommodation or a self-catered home from home for extended periods, St Catherine’s, managed by Hiding Space, provides luxurious living in the heart of our beautiful city.

The revenues we generate through the careful management of our properties in Bath are what underpins our Funding Supporting Programme and help us to fulfil our charitable objectives. Therefore, as a guest at St Catherine’s, you will be supporting the vital work that St John’s do today.

If you would like to explore the apartments further and book to stay at St Catherine’s Hospital, please visit the Hiding Space website here.