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Kepier Hospital, court

Kepier Hospital lies low beside the River Wear, a little to the north of Durham city. The hospital was originally founded in 1112 alongside the Church of St Giles in the city. Bishop Puiset moved the hospital to its present site in 1153. Kepier housed a master and a community of thirteen brethren, dedicated to the relief of the poor. It is recorded that King Edward I stayed here in 1298. The buildings were badly damaged by fire when Robert the Bruce's army attacked the area in 1306. Many of the buildings were reconstructed during the 14th century. The gatehouse range still survives much as Grimm drew it, except that its timber framing has been encased by stone walling. Unlike the hospitals at Greatham and Sherburn, Kepier was lost as an institution in the religious storms of the 16th century. Upon the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII the hospital ceased being the property of the church and was eventually bought in 1568 by John Heath, a Londoner.

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