Cogs and Wheels

At Lord Leycester Hospital, Warwick the hand of human activity has fashioned something quite unique.

Set against a Norman stone gateway and chapel, a quadrangle of timber framed buildings has evolved into a unique and joyous expression of the cycle of life in form and space.

These buildings have cradled the lives of retired soldiers and their wives since Elizabethan times, and thus have been ergonomically paired down to a perfect expression of human activity.

There is a riot of angled timber (wondrously imperfect and beautifully asymmetrical) built with purpose in a termite like organic growth, around a central courtyard.

Like yin and yang the incumbents endeavours enrich the ancient timbers.

It’s a revelation to see such ancient buildings set out, not as dusty old museum pieces, but as a living organic thing with the blood running through its veins.

And what is even more remarkable is that visitors are welcomed here to experience for themselves something truly unique: the cogs and wheels of human industry articulated in ancient oak.