Hickey's Almshouses

Sheen Road, Richmond, TW9 1XB


William Hickey died in 1728, leaving much of his properties in Richmond in trust. By his will dated 31st July 1717 he provided funds for pensions for 6 poor men and 10 poor women, to be elected by his trustees. He also arranged for payments to be made for those living in Bishop Duppa's Almshouses.

In 1822 Hickey's Charity was augmented by a gift of Elizabeth Doughty. By 1832 the funds had increased so much in value that the trustees decided to build almshouses. They acquired a site off what was then the Marshgate or Mortlake Road (now Sheen Road) and building work commenced.

Hickey's Almshouses opened in 1834, providing 20 dwellings for 10 poor men and 10 poor women. Built in the neo-Tudor style, the buildings were arranged in a semi-circle around a large garden with lawns and a few trees. A small chapel located in the centre of the main building divided the male and female apartments. The almshouses were separated from the road by a handsome gateway with a lodge either side of it (one for the porter and the other for the nurse). Substantial railings ran along the boundary of the road. A central path from the entrance gate continued around the perimeter.

In 1853 the almshouses were extended, with a terrace of eight more being built on the northwest corner of the site, along St Mary's Grove.

In 1860 a chaplain's house was added (possibly what is now 164 Sheen Road).

The chapel, dedicated to St Francis of Assisi, was enlarged in 1863. A commemorative tablet within, dated 1874, commemorates William Hickey.

In 1934 four more almshouses were erected in vacant land in Adelaide Road, to the north of the main site.

In 1950 the original almshouse buildings, including the chapel and the lodges, were Grade II* listed.

In 1972 an additional 12 bungalows were built on the north side of the main site, with an enclosed garden between them and the chapel.

In 1985 a house for the warden was built in Adelaide Road.

In 1991 an apartment block, with five apartments, was added, as well as a laundry and a workshop. In 2003 the smallest apartment was converted into estate offices.


Current status

The original 1834 almshouses (Nos. 1-20) are listed Grade II*, while the 1851 block (Nos. 21-28) is listed Grade II. The 1934 houses (Nos. 29-32) and 1972 bungalows (Nos. 33-44) are not listed.

The almshouses - all single-bedroomed - are managed by the Richmond Charities. New residents are accepted from the age of 65 years onwards.

N.B. Photographs obtained in May 2020

Hickey's Almshouses

The frontage of the almshouses along Sheen Road.

Hickey's Almshouses

A stone plaque on the western lodge dedicated to the munificence of William Hickey.

Hickey's Almshouses

Looking through the entrance gates to the original almshouses.

Hickey's Almshouses

Additional almshouses were added to the site later.

References (9th February 2021)
Brayley EW 1841 A Topographical History of Surrey, vol. 3. London, David Rogue, pp. 92-93. (1) (2)

Last updated 9th February 2021

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