Butchers Almshouses

Vanston Place, Walham Green, Fulham, SW6 1BT


The Butchers Charitable Institution was founded on 16th October 1828 to provide financial relief to elderly or infirm master-butchers, master pork butchers, cattle and meat commission salesmen, and hide and skin salesmen, and their widows and orphans. Male out-pensioners received 20 guineas (£21) a year and widows 15 guineas (£15.75), with a further allowance in proportion to the numbers of their children, not exceeding 5 guineas (£5.25).

In 1829 it was proposed that almshouses should be built. One of the members, John Knight, offered a piece of land in Buckinghamshire for the purpose and, at a meeting of the members in July 1829, it was decided to accept the offer. A building fund was formed.

In January 1831 Knight sent the title deeds of the land to the officers of the Institution, so that it could receive an income from the rents, but conveyance was delayed.

On 14th June 1831 another member of the Institution, John Jay Graves, bequeathed £5,000 towards the building of the almshouses. However, he died in November, a month before conveyance of the land had been completed. The executors refused to pay the money to the Institution on the grounds that the wording of the will was too vague and that the Institution, at the time of Graves' death, had not owned the land. In 1834 the courts agreed that the bequest was void under the Statutes of Mortmain - and the money was lost to the Institution.

On 1st July 1840 the foundation stone was laid by Lord Ravensworth for the charity's almshouses at Walham Green, Fulham.

The almshouses occupied three sides of a square, facing Farm Place, near St John's Church. They were separated from the road by railings, with a lodge at each of the two entrances.

The almspeople were elected by donors and subscribers to the building fund. As well as a small stipend, each almsperson received 1 cwt (about 51 kg) of coal a week.

To help support and maintain the almshouses, fairs and bazaars with horticultural exhibitions were held regularly in the grounds.

In 1876 Farm Place, along with Robert's Row, Exeter Place and Pond Place, was renamed Vanston Place.

The almshouses closed in 1922, when new Butchers Almshouses opened in Hounslow.


Current status

The site had been sold in 1920 to the Samuel Lewis Trust, who demolished the buildings in 1922 and built the Samuel Lewis Trust Dwellings in their place.

In 2001 the Trust was renamed the Southern Housing Group.

N.B. Photographs obtained in May 2017

Butchers Almshouses

The Samuel Lewis Trust Dwellings (above and below) contain 220 apartments.

Butchers Almshouses

References (Accessed 2nd October 2021)

(Author unstated) 1844 The Metropolitan Charities. London, Sampson Low, pp. 83-84.
Besant W 1911 London, North of the Thames. London, Adam & Charles Black, pp.25-26.
Chambers M (ed) 1835 The Law Journal Reports. Vol. 13. London, EB Ince, pp.41-46.
Crocker TC 1860 A Walk from London to Fulham. London, William Tegg, p.138.
Shelford L 1842 A Practical Treatise of the Law of Mortmain and Charitable Uses and Trusts. Vol. 1. Philadelphia, John S Littell, pp.147-148.
Stephens AJ 1845 The Statutes Relating to the Ecclesiastical and Eleemosynary Institutions of England, Wales, Ireland, India, and the Colonies. London, John W Parker, pp. 800-804. (1) (2) picture

Last updated 2nd October 2021

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