Alleyn's Almshouses

(also known as Dulwich Almshouses)

1-10 Bath Street, Old Street, EC1V 9ET


On 13th July 1620 Edward Alleyn (1556-1626), the philanthropic actor, laid the first brick of the almshouses he was founding in Pest House Lane, in the parish of St Giles, Cripplegate. In the following year, on 29th April, ten poor elderly inmates - three men and seven women - occupied the newly built houses. They each received a weekly stipend of 6d (2.5p). Every second year they were given a new gown or coat.

As vacancies became available in Alleyn's Almshouses in Dulwich, the almspeople were transferred there.

The almshouses, which had originally cost £200 to build, were rebuilt in 1707. They formed a single range along the street, with large gardens behind.

In 1733 the parish of St Giles became part of St Luke's parish.

In 1737 Pest House Lane was renamed Bath Street.

In 1737 the almshouses were rebuilt again, and enlarged to accommodate an additional 12 almspeople. Instead of a one-storey terrace directly on the street, the new 2-storey buildings were recessed, with a large central block flanked with smaller side wings on three sides of a courtyard. They were built of brick outlined in stucco, with open air arches on both floors and bow windows. The courtyard was laid out with flowerbeds.

In the 1960s the almshouses and land were sold off by the parish of St Luke's, in agreement with the Dulwich Almshouse Charity, in order to build a new community centre elsewhere.

Current status

The almshouses were demolished in 1964. Their site is now part of the garden at the side of the St Luke's Estate, just south of Godfrey House.

N.B. Photographs obtained in August 2020

Alleyn's Almshouses

The site of the almshouses is now part of a small garden.

References (Accessed 10th December 2021) (1) (2)

Last updated 10th December 2021

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