Fire Brigade

At the turn of the twentieth century, Mr Hopkins, landlord of the Royal Oak Hotel, was in charge of Ledbury Fire Brigade. The brigade was summoned by ringing the bell at St Katherine’s. The Great Western Railway drays would be unhitched and taken in a mad dash to Church Street where they were harnessed to the fire engine. The next chief was Mr Gurney, a local surveyor who also owned Ledbury quarry, which supplied the lorry to tow the steamer fire engine, affectionately known as ‘Little Nell’. In 1924, George Hopkins & Sons converted a 1912 Austin into a towing vehicle. In 1932 a Bedford was specially constructed as a towing vehicle, which served for twenty-four years.

After the Fire Station in Church Street relocated to what is now known as the Old Ambulance Station in Bye Street, the building in Church Street was taken over by the Ledbury branch of the Royal British Legion.

St Katherine's Hospital

The purpose of the St Katherine’s Hospital was to remind those who visited the market opposite of the constant need to pray and carry out works of charity. The misuse of the revenue and property of the hospital that features in the history of St Katherine’s Hospital was reformed in 1819, the estates sold off after 1945. Originally probably a row of timber-framed buildings, and used as accommodation for the brethren and sisters, the Almshouses were built as two wings, the north side in 1822, the other side in 1866.