Record Details

NHER Number:631
Type of record:Building
Name:Lazar House Library and former leper hospital


Lazar House Library was originally founded before 1119 by Herbert de Losinga, as a hospital for male lepers and poor sick. It was dissolved in 1547, and used in the 17th century as an almshouse. The chapel was restored in 1906 by Sir Eustace Gurney and is now a Branch Library. The building itself is of flint rubble, with stone and some brick dressings, and a pantiled roof.


  • The lazar house, Norwich.  © Courtesy of Norfolk County Council Library and Information Service.


Grid Reference:TG 23554 10418
Map Sheet:TG21SW

Full description

Lazar House Library.

Founded by Losinga pre 1119 for male lepers, poor aged and sick (men only). Dissolved around 1547, chapel now used as Branch Library.
For early references see (S1)-(S5).
Information from (S6).
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 24 January 2018.

1954. Listed Grade II*.
Listing Description Excerpt:
"Former Leper Hospital (Magdalen Chapel). 12th century. Later an almshouse until 17th century. Restored 1906 by Sir Eustace Gurney and now a Branch Library. Flint rubble with stone and some brick dressings; pantiled roof. Now L-plan. Two storeys (mostly open to roof); six-window range at right-angles to street."
"Founded before 1119 by Herbert de Losigna, the nave was used as the hospital and the chancel served as a chapel for the inmates."
Information from (S7).
Please consult the National Heritage List for England (S7) for the current details.
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 24 January 2018. Amended H. Hamilton (HES), 8 November 2019.

Drawings and photos (S8) in file.

1989. Building Survey.
This survey indicates that two of the Norman doors have been reset.
See report (S9)/(S10) for further details. The results of this survey are also noted in (S11).
P. Watkins (HES), 10 March 2017.

March 1990. Descheduled.
This building has been descheduled but remains protected as a Listed Building (S7).
Information from (S14).
H. Hamilton (HES), 31 May 2018.

March 1993. Watching Brief.
Maintained during renewal of floor of building.
Some brick and flint running north-to-south across west part and a east-to-west line of mortar in central part of building probably represent internal dividing wall demolished during early 20th century renovation. Limestone blocks at either side of recess in north wall may represent a north door (opposite existing south door).
No report produced.
Compiled by S. Bates (NAU) 19 March 1993.

For details of similarity of architecture with that of Norwich Cathedral see (S12).

See press cutting (S13) in file.
T. Sunley (NLA) 7 November 2007.

Monument Types

  • (Former Type) LEPER HOSPITAL (Medieval to 16th Century - 1119 AD? to 1547 AD)
  • (Former Type) ALMSHOUSE (16th Century to 19th Century - 1600 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • LIBRARY (Early 20th Century to 21st Century - 1901 AD? to 2100 AD?)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Designation: [unknown]. Ancient Monuments Form. SAM Record. DNF14773.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TG 21 SW 15 [3].
---Monograph: Pevsner, N. and Wilson, B. 1997. Norfolk 1: Norwich and North-East. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 333.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Fiche: Exists.
<S1>Monograph: Blomefield, F. 1806. The History of The City and County of Norwich, Part II. An Essay Towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk. Vol IV. p 440.
<S2>Publication: Willins, E. P. 1884. Quaint Old Norwich. Pl 44.
<S3>Publication: Knights, M. 1887. The Highways and Byeways of Old Norwich. p 97.
<S4>Article in Serial: 1921. The Lazar House, Norwich. Antiquaries Journal. Vol I No 4 pp 341.
<S5>Publication: Knowles, D. and Hadcock, R. N. 1953. Medieval Religious Houses of England and Wales. p 296.
<S6>Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Norwich - Post Roman.
<S7>Designation: Historic England. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1051828.
<S8>Photograph: Norwich City Council. 1970s-80s. Photographs of the Lazar House.
<S9>Unpublished Contractor Report: Smith, R. 1989. Survey Report. The Lazar House, Sprowston Road, Norwich. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 67.
<S10>Unpublished Report: Smith, R. 1989. The Lazar House, Norwich. Building Report.
<S11>Article in Serial: Gurney, D (ed.). 1990. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1989. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLI Pt I pp 107-112. p 110.
<S12>Article in Monograph: Thurlby, M. 1996. The Influence of the Cathedral on Romanesque Architecture. Norwich Cathedral: Church, City and Diocese, 1096-1996. Atherton, I. et al (eds). pp 136-157. p 136.
<S13>Newspaper Article: Eastern Evening News. 1989. A flinty reminder of city's longevity. 12 October.
<S14>Designation: English Heritage. 1990-2013. English Heritage Scheduling Notification. Notification. DNF14773.

Related records

Site 1626Parent of: 219 Sprowston Road (Lazar House) (Monument)
Site 1627Parent of: 219 Sprowston Road, Lazar House (Monument)
Site 2587Parent of: Lazar House (219 Sprowston Road) (Monument)

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