On the north side of Broad Street is Browne’s Hospital, an extremely interesting 15th century building built by William Browne, a wealthy Stamford wool merchant, who was six times an Alderman and who died in 1489. The hospital was built for “ten poor men and two women” with a Warden and Chaplain. It then consisted of a common room divided into cubicles. Altered and enlarged in 1870 and later modernised in 1963-64, the hospital now has six double and five single rooms. The chapel retains a fine screen, original pews and a pre-Reformation altar slab and there is rather fine 15th century glass both here and in the Audit Room. The whole building, set so charmingly around its quiet courtyards, is full of human and architectural interest.
For further interest click here for a 3D interactive tour of Browne's Hospital.
There are eight ancient monuments in and around Stamford. Amongst these are an arch, part of a 12th century town house on St Mary’s Hill, whilst another is a 13th century bastion that is the only surviving relic of the old town wall. Outside the wall to the east is the fine Greyfriars’ gateway that was erected in 1350; also of interest is St Leonard’s Priory which was the earliest of the town’s monastic buildings. It was erected for Benedictine monks and the imposing west front still remains.
Stamford School dates from 1532 and is now part of Stamford Endowed Schools. The surviving part of the Norman and Early English St Paul’s Church remains on the site. Also worth seeing is the Brasenose Knocker, a copy of that brought by Oxford students from their Oxford College in 1333 and now returned there.
Close to the bridge on the south side of the River Welland is the George Hotel whose famous “gallows” inn sign spans the former Great North Road. This site has been catering for travellers since the days when the resident Knights of St John of Jerusalem cared for pilgrims passing through the town.
Stamford Library, on the High Street, is housed within the portico of the original market and shambles which stood beyond; it was opened as a library in 1906 by the then Stamford Borough Council. This building also offers a Heritage Centre which displays the Stamford Tapestry. This took 17 years to complete and was finished in 2000. It depicts the Town’s history, including many of the churches, buildings, industries and people. It was worked in 6 panels by over 25 embroiders and measures 20 feet long with a 20 foot drop.
Like many other country towns, Stamford once had several breweries and reminders of this trade are found in All Saints Brewery which is located in All Saints’ Street.