Old Dispensary, Castle Hill, Lancaster


Set within an ornate frame, this badly degraded inscription (ILC 1845) is found on the frontage of this elegant building, and refers to former occupiers, John (1784-1851) and Celia Leach (1787-1851). The building was originally a dispensary (established by public subscription 1785) that administered basic medical care to the town’s poor until 1832.

It’s been suggested that the frame originally held a much more elaborate plaque with a tableau depicting the Good Samaritan, and which is now set into an entrance of Lancaster’s general hospital, The Royal Lancaster Infirmary. However, the Infirmary plaque has always seemed to me to be too big to fit the available space. I’d be interested if anyone has considered this or knows if the plaque was originally set on this building on Castle Hill.

Location: Castle Hill, Lancaster, UK.

Published by fastfootpress

Fast Foot Press is a small, independent publishing and design house based in Lancaster in the North of England. We research, design and publish a range of unique printed publications that are indicative of our passion for the interesting, obscure and beautiful. Our aim is to produce items of value, interest and beauty: to devise printed works that fascinate and inspire.

2 thoughts on “Old Dispensary, Castle Hill, Lancaster

  1. In the entry in the listed buildings, it does say that the Good Samaritan plaque was erelocated from there to the Infirmary. However, I’ve always thought that the original dispensary, which was over on the corner where the Archaeological Unit is based, next to the gate to the Tasting Garden is, either is the site of the origina location, or was where the relief was move to here from.

    You can see a square plaque above the door in this photo of it:

    1890 - First Dispensary, Corner of Castle Park & Castle Hill

    (The photo doesn’t belong to that account. It belongs to the Library I think)


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