OLD PLYMOUTH . UK
www.oldplymouth.uk
 

  Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: August 19, 2020
Webpage updated: August 19, 2020

        

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MAUDLYN or LEPER HOUSE

The Maudlyn, or Leper House, was situated at the top of North Hill, Tavistock Road, as far away from the town of Plymouth as was conveniently possible.

Dedicated to the Trinity and Saint Mary Magdalene, it was already of great antiquity in 1547 when, as Mr R N Worth tells us in his "History of Plymouth from the Earliest Period to the Present Time", that an entry in the Chantry Rolls of that year  recorded that there was then in  Plymouth 'an almshouse called "Goddeshowse for the releife of impotent and lazare people with owte any certayne nomber appoynted".'  At that time there were fourteen inmates but sometimes there were as many as twenty.  It was funded by the rents of land to the annual value of 14 7 shillings, given by various benefactors.

It appears to have been only recently removed in 1648 when a deed of sale to Mr John Martyn of land 'neere the late howse called the mawdlyn howse, neere Plymouth', was recorded.  During the Civil War a fort for the defence of the Town was built on the site.

Mr Worth alleges that the Maudlyn was on the site of the later South Devon and Cornwall Blind Institution, which is now part of Plymouth High School for Girls.