LEPROSY AND THE ST. LEONARD'S LEPER HOSPITAL

St Leonard's Leper Hospital

Named after St Leonard. From the Chartulary of Dunfermline we learn (Reg. 127) that there was a hospital (for lepers) at Dunfermline as early as 1227. As this hospital is known to have been dependent on the revenues of the Chapel of St Leonard, one would infer that the chapel must have been of more or less the same age as the hospital. [Early Masons & Carpenters, J. Webster P.4]

The Hospital was probably named after Leonard, the French anchoret, from whom so many edifices and places in this country have received their appellations.*

(There were a hospital, cemetery, and chapel, at St Leonard's Hill, near Edinburgh. The font and holy water stone, as well as base of a stone cross close by it, were visible in 1753. A parcel of ground, too, adjoining the Hill, still retains the name of "Hermits and Termits," "a corruption according to Lord Hailes, "of Eremitæ Sancti Eremi, or monks of St Anthony of Egypt. The chapel of the same St Anthony at the back of Salisbury Craigs, is well known." Annals i. 96-7.)

Part of Leper Hospital Dunfermline - by E Galloway
Courtesy of Dunfermline Museum


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