Chad, the first Bishop of Lichfield, died in 672 and was canonised in 700. His remains were moved to a shrine in the new cathedral in Lichfield. In 1129, Roger de Clinton was appointed Bishop of Lichfield; Chad found the ancient Saxon cathedral and city little more than a village. He built a new cathedral, fortified The Close and laid out a new town. Finally, he constructed a defensive ditch and rampart around the southern part of the city (to the north it was protected by water) and enrolled a force of soldiers to guard it. There were four gates or ‘barrs’ which were closed at night and reopened in the morning.

This created a problem for the pilgrims and travellers who arrived after curfew. There was nowhere for them to shelter for the night outside the ramparts. To remedy this, Bishop de Clinton built a priory just outside the Culstubbe Gate on the south side where the road from London entered.

It was completed in 1135 and he installed Augustinian Canons with solemn vows to provide food and shelter for travellers arriving late into the night.

Thus, there came into being the ‘Hospital of St John Baptist without the Barrs’ of the City of Lichfield.