Almshouses in E postcode area

E1 Mile End 
  • Bancroft's Almshouses, 327 Mile End Road, E1 4NS

  • Captain Fisher's Almshouses, Dog Row, E1 1BU

    In 1711 Captain Robert Fisher erected a set of five almshouses for the widows of ships' commanders, on the west side of Dog Row (now Cambridge Heath Road), just to the north of the Mile End Road. These were soon acquired by the maritime charity Trinity House. The almspeople each received an annual stipend of £6 and, at Christmas, Captain Fisher's widow sent them each a crown (5 shillings - 25p).

They were in use until 1843, when they were replaced by four new almshouses at the nearby Trinity Hospital. The site then became part of the Albion Brewery complex (1808-1979) - the notorious Blind Beggar pub now its only remnant.

Recently the original almshouse site has been taken up by part of the Crossrail station structures at Whitechapel.

E1 Spitalfields
  • French Protesant (French Charity) Almshouses, Black Eagle Street, E1 6QL

Following the arrival of French Huguenot refugees in London in the latter part of the 17th century, many settled in the Spitafields area just to the east of the City. 

Spitalfields became a centre especially for silk weaving. By 1700 the Huguenot community established a new church there, located between Black Eagle Street and Grey Eagle Street.

 Charitable endeavours soon followed - a French Protestant Hospital was founded, probably in 1708, off Bath Street, near Old Street. Independent of this, in 1733, a charity began a service in Spitalfields to supply soup, meat and bread. This was augmented by facilities to provide residences and allowances for 45 poor men and women.

The exact site of these almshouses is unclear, though undoubtedly near the church. A mention in a 1775 text places them in Corbet's Court, a small alley at the south end of Grey Eagle Street (a 1795 map shows a French school just off Corbet's Court). An 1845 directory describes the almshouses as in Black Eagle Street, which ran east from Grey Eagle Street. It may be that they moved at least once. 

Assuming the latter location, this placed the almshouses in among the rapidly expanding buildings of the Black Eagle Brewery (now remembered as Truman's). The almshouses were probably swallowed up in the latter part of the 19th century. 

Black Eagle Street has disappeared but a part of Dray Walk, within the old brewery complex, reflects its route.

  • Norton Folgate Almshouses, Puma Court, Commercial Street, E1 6Q

  • 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

Established through the will of Judge John Fuller in 1592, these almshouses were erected by his widow on land to the north of Mile End Road, east of Dog Row (now Cambridge Heath Road), surrounded originally by Mile End Green on the east and the south. 

The 12 brick almshouses were set well back from the road, with a wall in front and small gardens behind. They were intended for men aged over 50 years. (The same will also provided similarly for 12 almhouses for widows in Shoreditch - known as Fuller's Hospital. Both establishments were in the care of the Mercers Company.) 

As the area built up, the almshouses appear to have survived into the 19th century on the west side of Eagle Street (also Spread Eagle Place, and Eaglet Place), a cul-de-sac off the Mile End Road. 

The buildings were sold off in 1865, the almspeople moving to new premises in Harrow Green, Leyton. The old almhouse buildings, however, appear to have survived into the 20th century, though they were slightly damaged in the Blitz. By the 1960s, however, they were gone. 

Their site is now a parking area behind City Gate - a recent residential development. Eagle Street survives as a gated driveway behind the apartment block,

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.

In his will, dated 28th February 1681, the draper John Pemel (1622-1681) left £1,200 to the Drapers Company to buy land and to use the rents to pay for the building and endowment of eight almshouses in Stepney. 

The legacy received in 1682 was not laid out until 1694, when interest of £564 had accumulated. Of this, £342 10 shillings (£342.50) was used on purchasing the site for the almshouses and the remainder used for building them. 

Land was duly bought in Southwark and the City in 1694, and the almshouses built in 1698 on the roadside wasteland immediately outside the Whitechapel parish by the Mile End Gate, adjoining the Blind Beggar pub. 

The single-storey building contained eight rooms, four of which were allocated to widows of freemen of the Company and the four easternmost to widows of mariners or seamen from the eight Stepney hamlets - Mile End Old Town, Poplar, Limehouse, Ratcliffe, Lower Wapping, Spitalfields, Bethnal Green and Mile End New Town. 

The building was set behind a forecourt and had a pedimented centrepiece over a through passage. Sanitary arrangements consisted of one water closet in the centre for use by all the occupants, one receptacle for dust, and one cistern for the supply of water. 

Each of the eight almspeople received an annual pension of £4, as well as £1 for coals from the Company, which also paid for sick relief and carried out repairs on the buildings. Every two years the Company spent £6 on eight gowns or upper garments for the women. The Company's arms were displayed on the right breast of each gown or garment. 

By 1813 the almshouses were known as the Drapers Almshouses. 

In 1863 the site was sold for £5,133 to Messrs Mann, Crossman and Paulin of the Albion Brewery, which had grown up behind. The inmates were happy to leave - several had become too infirm to fetch water from the cistern, and many complained of the constant noise from the busy road and the costermongers who had established themselves in front of the almshouses. 

New Pemel's Almshouses were built in Bromley-le-Bow at a cost of £1,500 on land already owned by the Company and which already contained the Jolles' (see below) and Edmanson's Almshouses . Each almswoman received a pension of 25 shillings (£1.25) a month (instead of their previous 6s 8d (33p), as well as improved accommodation - a sitting room, bedroom, wash-house and WC. 

The almshouses in Whitechapel Road were demolished and their site became part of the frontage of the Albion Brewery. They had been located approximately at the entrance to the present Albion Yard.

E1W Ratcliff
  • Ratcliff Almshouses, Schoolhouse Lane, E1W 3HR

In 1536 Nicolas Gibson, a grocer, established 14 almshouses on the east side of Schoolhouse Lane, towards its southern end. Seven of these were intended for local residents and the other seven for aged coopers or their widows. 

In 1551 the almshouses passed to the management of the Coopers Company

In 1613 six more almshouses were built, through a legacy of Tobias Wood, intended for the use of coopers. The original almshouses then became accommodation only for women. 

In 1694 new almshouses were built north of the original site. 

In 1795-1796, following a fire, the almshouses were rebuilt, to the north. 

In 1894 all the residents - 16 almswomen (half from Stepney and half coopers' widows) and six former coopers - were pensioned off. The site was closed and cleared, and thereafter let out by the Coopers Company. 

Like much of the East End, the locality was heavily bombed in the Blitz. By the 1950s there was a depot on the site. The Highway Trading Estate now occupies the area, backing on to Schoolhouse Lane with a blank brick wall, signed at the level of the almshouses as Screwfix beyond the wall.

E1W Shadwell
  • George Baron's Almshouses, Elbow Lane, E1W 3QZ

Local directories from the 18th century mention a set of almshouses near St Paul's church in Shadwell. One, from 1773, identifies these as George Baron's Almshouses, built in 1682 in Elbow Lane. 

The block of five tenements (with three rooms in each) provided accommodation for 15 women. An endowment provided the tenants £5 4 shillings (£5.20) for bread. 

Another directory from 1795 mentions almshouses for poor widows situated in Cow Lane, but with no endowment. Elbow Lane and Cow Lane were adjacent one-block streets, so it seems likely that the almshouses were located between the two. 

The almshouse building had gone by the 1830s, when excavation of the Shadwell Basin erased Cow Lane. The area on the shore of the Basin is now the Newlands Quay housing development.

 No other information on the almshouses or on George Baron has come to hand.

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.

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.

Hackney Road Almshouses, Old Burying Ground, Hackney Road, E2 8HQ

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 Almshouses in Bruce Grove, Edmonton.  The site today contains Tower View House and a parade of shops.


E3 Bromley-by-Bow

In his will of 24th February 1617 Sir John Jolles, Master of the Drapers Company, bequeathed properties in Mark Lane to the Company in order to endow his eight almshouses and school in Stratford-le-Bow built in that year. On his death in 1621 the Company took over management of the almshouses. 

The terrace of almshouses occupied the east side of an open quadrangle set well back from Bow Road. Each dwelling consisted of a large room, divided into a sitting room and a bedroom, with a small garden behind. They were mainly occupied by women, although men were not excluded, nor married couples. 

Selection of the almspeople was made by the vestries of the parishes of Stratford and Bromley, with four rooms allocated to each parish. 

In 1695 Edmanson's Almshouses were built on the western side of the quadrangle. 

Up to Christmas 1860 the almspeople had received an annual pension of £3, as well as small amounts from other sources. The Drapers Company increased the pension to £12 a year, on the understanding that if the parishes withdrew their allowances, it would increase the pension to £21 a year. This generosity was due to the great increase in income from rents, not from legal obligation. The Company, having learned that Bromley almspeople received an allowance of coal from their parish, also ordered four tons of coal, one each, for the Stratford almspeople. 

In 1868 the land occupied by Edmanson's Almshouses was compulsorily purchased for the North London Railway. The Drapers Company vigorously opposed this, on the grounds that the interests of the poor should not be overridden by a profit-making company. The bill went through, but the railway company was forced to purchase the whole site, including the eastern side with Jolles' Almshouses, and to provide temporary accommodation to the displaced almspeople, and also to pay all legal costs of the move to the new Drapers Almshouses in Bruce Grove. 

The area was damaged by bombs during WW2 (1939-1945) and was completely redeveloped after the war. St Agnes Catholic Primary School now occupies the site of the 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 Leyton, 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 11th May 2023

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