Coningsby Hospital, St John

The Hospitallers (Order of St John of Jerusalem) had a preceptory just outside the Hereford city walls (next to the Blackfriars) in the Middle Ages, which at the Reformation passed into the hands of Sir Thomas Coningsby who created the present quadrangle of almshouses and chapel from it. The residents wore red coats – alleged to be the model for the Chelsea Pensioners.

The chapel is still used by the modern Order of St John, and I was there recently to mark St John’s Day with the members of the St John Ambulance Brigade unit who have their HQ next door. (I was a cadet too, once upon a time …).