Almshouses in E postcode area

E1 Mile End 

E1 Spitalfields
  • Weavers' Company Almshouses, Blossom Terrace, Norton Folgate, E1

In his will of July 1725 Nicholas Garrett of Wandsworth bequeathed a sum of £1,000 to the Weavers Company to build and endow six almshouses for its members. These opened in 1729, having been built on a site known as Porter's Fields at a cost of £420 - the second almshouses built by the Company. Located on the north siude of Blossom Terrace (near Elder Street), they lay to the east of, and adjacent to, the Norton Folgate Almshouses.

The building was of red brick and had a tiled roof. The door for the almshouses on the eastern side was on the left of the ground floor windows, and on the right for thr other three on the western side. Each almshouse contained two rooms. The front of the building faced south and was set back from the street with a 5 ft (1.5 metres) wide pebbled pavement in front of a garden wall. Trees were planted behind the wall.

In 1732 they were described as 'very handsome almshouses'.

However, by 1845, the building was in such a 'generally decayed state' that the Company was compelled to consider rebuilding them. By good luck, the Commissioners of Works notified the Company that the property would be required for the construction of a new street - Commercial Street. On 2nd December 1851 the property was sold to the Commissioners for £2,400. The six residents were moved temporarily into three houses in Bonners Fields until the new Weavers Company Almshouses in Wanstead were available.

The building was demolished and its site today is occupied by the northen extension of Commercial Street and the rail line into Liverpool Street station.

E1 Stepney

E1 Tower Hill
  • Merchant Taylors Almshouses, Hogge Lane, E1 8LP

Richard Hills, a member of the Merchant Taylors Company who died in 1587, left large bequests to the Company, which used some of the money to build new almshouses on the north side of Hogge Lane, in Tower Hill. These opened in 1593. 

Built of brick and timber, with slate roofs, they accommodated 14 poor elderly single widows of the Company. Fourteen members of the Company each sponsored one of the residents, who received 16d (7p) or more a week, as well as £8 15 shillings (£8.75) a year from the Company to pay for fuel. 

In 1637 the buildings were extended to house 26 women. 

In 1767 the almshouses were rebuilt at a cost of £2,000, which was borne by the Company, no bequests having been made for the work. 

By the early 19th century the houses were in a dilapidated state, with no possibility of expansion on the cramped site. The Company decided to build new almshouses in Lee, Kent. The residents were transferred to the new almshouses in 1825. 

The Tower Hill site was sold in 1863 and 1869 to the Blackwall Railway Company to develop as a goods depot. 

By 1720 Hogge Lane had been renamed Rosemary Street but today it is known as Royal Mint Street. Following Blitz damage during WW2 (1939-1945), the area has since been completely redeveloped. The actual site of the almshouses was at the west end, since renamed Shorter Street, and is occupied by the Minories Car Park.

E1 Whitechapel

In 1658 Williams Meggs, a draper, acquired a piece of land measuring 90 ft wide and 45 ft deep (28 metres by 14 metres) on which to build almshouses for 12 poor parishioners of Whitechapel. The candidates would be single, church-going and over the age of 50 years. Meggs, who was unmarried and without direct descendants, was a benefactor in other ways to various charities, including financial help in rebuilding the Church of St Mary Matfelon in Whitechapel.

The almshouses were located on the south side of Whitechapel Road.  They consisted of a simple 2-storey building with a railed forecourt in front.  The central section protruded slightly, with its pediment bearing the Meggs arms and an inscribed panel of stone.  The building was divided into three sections and had three entrances, with lobbies and staircases leading to the 12 single-room dwellings.  Each room was occupied by a widow.  At the rear of the building was a garden.

Meggs died in 1678, having left £1,500 in his will to be held in trust for the provision of the living costs of the almspeople and building repairs, but his nephew, Sir William Goulston, failed to apply the funds properly.  The situation was only rectified in 1767 by a benefaction from Benjamin Goodwin, who repaired the almshouses and endowed them (this was recorded at the base of the central pediment).

By 1773 each widow received an annual stipend of £5/4/0 (£5.20) and a chaldron of coals.

The building was repaired again in 1877 but six years later, in 1883, it was sold to the District Railway.  The almshouses were demolished the same year and the surface building of St Mary's station was built on their site.  The station closed in 1938; its disused building was heavily blitzed during WW2 (1939-1945) but survived until it too was demolished sometime later.  The site of the almshouses is now occupied by a former car showroom and the edge of an Ibis Hotel.

New Meggs' Almshouses were built in Forest Gate in 1893 by the Whitechapel parish.

  • Pemel's Almshouses, Albion Yard, Whitechapel Road, E1

E1 Shadwell
  • George Baron Almshouses, Elbow Lane, E1W

E2 Bethnal Green  

In his will dated 29th February 1682, the silk merchant Thomas Parmiter left two farms in Suffolk to be used, after the death of his wife Elizabeth, to build and endow a school and six almshouses 'on the waste of Bethnal Green'.

Elizabeth Parmiter died in 1702 and, on 7th April 1705, the trustees were instructed by an order in Chancery to carry out the provisions of the will. Unfortunately, the income from Suffolk was insufficient, but a bequest from Thomas Lee, the first treasurer of the Parmiter's estate, and an agreement by the Dyers Company to pay the annual rent of £10, enabled a site to be leased for 600 years in 1720.

Building work began and the school and almshouses opened in 1722. Located at the east end of St John Street, the almshouses accommodated six elderly men. In the same year another six almshouses were built to the right side of the building, financed by the will of William Lee. (These were later extended by John Peck and were known as the Spitalfields Almshouses - see below).

In 1732 the six almsmen - Anglican parishioners - each received an annual pension of £2 10s (£2.50). By 1763 this had increased to £5 and, by 1809, to £10. In 1819 they also received 15 guineas (15.75) of coal a year.

In 1838 the site of the school and all the almshouses was compulsorily purchased by the Eastern Counties Railway. The Spitalfields Almshouses moved to the new Dyers Almshouses in the Balls Pond Road, while new Parmiter's Almshouses and School were built nearby, on the north side of Gloucester Street, just east of Cambridge Heath Road.

  • Spitalfields Almshouses, St John Street, E2 6EJ

In his will dated 17th September 1720, William Lee, a dyer and benefactor of Parmiter's Almshouses, bequeathed his nephew John Ham £300 in trust to build six almshouses for poor members of the Dyers Company. In 1721 Ham leased a plot of land at the lower end of St John Street and built the almshouses on the right side of Parmiter's Almshouses (see above), assigning the trust to the Company. In 1732 the residents of the almshouses were six widows, each of whom receive 6 shillings (30p) at the three Quarter Days of Lady Day, Midsummer and Michaelmas, and 12 shillings (£1) at Christmas.

In 1739 John Peck built an additional four almshouses for the widows of freemen of the Dyers Company who had lived at Bethnal Green. Together with William Lee's Almshouses, they became known as the Spitalfields Almshouses.

By 1829 each resident received 3 guineas (£3.15) a year, paid quarterly, together with an allowance of coals for the year, and 10s 6d (55p) at Christmas.

By 1831 the almshouses accommodated 10 widows of freemen or liverymen of the Company, each of whom received 4 guineas (£4.20) a year, 10s 4d (52p) at Michaelmas and 17 sacks of coal at Christmas.

The almshouses site was compulsory purchased in 1838 by the Eastern Counties Railway. The residents were rehoused in the new Dyers Almshouses, which opened in 1841 in the Balls Pond Road, Islington.

Today the site of the almshouses is occupied by railway lines, most probably those south of the stub of Hare Marsh.

E2 Hackney

In his will of 7th October 1703 Richard Morrell bequeathed a sum of money for the erection of six almshouses to accommodate poor elderly liverymen (or, if in want of such, freemen) of the Goldsmiths Company.

In addition, he appointed a sum for the purchase of an annuity of £31 4s (£31.20) to provide an annual pension of £2 for each almsman. Each also received 2 chaldrons of coal a year, as well as a new gown to the value of £2 10s (£2.50).

The almshouses were built in 1705 along a pathway in the fields of Haggerston. The path later became Mutton Lane and then, by the mid 19th century, Goldsmith's Row.

By 1863 the almshouses were in poor repair, but they lasted until 1889, when the Company was deterred from making improvements by the combination of building costs and the poverty of the surrounding area. It decided to cut its losses and sold the site for redevelopment.

By 1895 their site was occupied by Belmont Mansions at Nos. 67-77 Goldsmith's Row, with houses and shops on the frontage. Today, Belmont Mansions have gone in their turn and the site of now part of Haggerston Orchard, a community garden project.

E2 Haggerston
  • Shoreditch New Almshouses

E2 Hoxton

The Almshouses opened in 1713, built on a piece of land measuring 198 ft by 82 ft (60 by 25 metres), immediately to the south of the Ironmongers Almshouses, in Kingsland Road. They had been established by the will of the draper Samuel Harwar, dated 28th January 1703, who bequeathed £1,700 for this purpose.

The single storey building contained 12 almshouses, six of which accommodated elderly widows or single Freemen of the Drapers Company and six elderly poor widows nominated by St Leonard's parish, Shoreditch. Each inhabitant received 6 shillings (30p) a month and 18 bushels of coal a year, supplied by the Drapers Company who administered the Almshouses.

By 1833 the monthly allowance had increased to £1 11s 6d (£1.58). The Company also provided a chaldron and a half of coal each year.

By the mid 19th century the building was in a state of disrepair and not considered worth restoring. It was demolished in 1879 and Thomas Street at the south side of the site was renamed Harwar Street in its memory (later it was renamed again as Cremer Street). The surviving funds from Samuel Harwar's Trust were transferred to the new Drapers Company Almshouses in Bruce Grove, Edmonton.  The site today contains Tower View House and a parade of shops.

E3 Bromley-by-Bow
  • Bowry's Almshouses, Bromley Public Hall, Bow Road, E3

  • Drapers' Almshouses

E3 Mile End 
  • Cook's Almshouses, 391 Mile End Road, E3

E4 Chingford
  • Chingford Almshouses, 1 Carbis Close, E4

  • The Ridgers, 8 Templeton Avenue, E4

E5 Clapton

E5 Hackney

E7 Forest Gate
  • Legg Whittuck Almshouses

  • Meggs' Almshouses, 271-175 Upton Lane, E7 9PR

  • Pawnbrokers Almshouses, Woodgrange Road, E7

E8 Hackney, Dalston, London Fields      

E9 Hackney, Homerton

E10 Leyton 

E11 Leytonstone, Wanstead

E14 Poplar
  • East India Company Almshouses

  • Hester Hawes Almshouses

E14 Blackwall
  • Captain Fell's Almshouses, Blackwall

E15 Stratford, West Ham
  • Roger Harriss Almshouses

E17  Walthamshow
  • Colby Lodge, 1c The Drive, E17

  • Collard's Almshouses, 1 Maynard Road, E17

  • Monoux Almshouses, Church End, E17

  • Squire's Almshouses, Church End, E17

Last updated 6th May 2021

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