Skinners Almshouses

27a Mile End Road, Stepney, E1 4TP


The Skinners Almshouses opened in 1688. They had been built in Mile End Road, adjacent to the Trinity Hospital, by Thomas Glover, Executor of the will of Lewis Newbury, a skinner who had bequeathed the money for the land in 1683.

The Skinners Company managed the almshouses. The Company's arms were mounted above the entrance gate and, on either side of this plaque were a stone statue of a cripple - one with a crutch and one leaning on a staff.

The almshouses accommodated 12 widows of freemen of the Company. They consisted of two rows of cottages facing each other, with each front door opening into a single room. Each dwelling had a cellar.

Although modest in appearance, the almshouses had extensive gardens behind. There was also a chapel and a house for the minister, who was obliged to read prayers every day and to preach a sermon every Sunday. The almswomen were expected to attend prayers twice a day.

Each widow received a pension of 2 shillings (10p) a week and half a chaldron of coal yearly.

In June 1689 there was a scandal involving several residents. One widow allowed her unruly sons to arrive at 'unreasonable houres' and lodge at her home, while others sold ale on Sabbath days after the sermon. All received warnings, but the selling of 'strong water and ale' persisted and the perpetrators were warned again in December that if they continued, they would be removed from their almshouses and would forfeit their pensions.

In 1773 the 12 residents received a yearly pension of £5 4 shillings (£5.20), plus coals.

The almshouses closed in 1895 when the new Skinners Almshouses opened in Palmers Green.


Current status

The almshouses were demolished and, in 1905, a house was built on their site for the engineer of the Albion Brewery.

 N.B. Photographs obtained in July 2020

Site of Skinners Almshouses

The engineer's house at No. 27a Mile End Road, a Grade II listed building, occupies the site of the almshouses (above and below). This building now houses Chicken Shop and Dirty Burger.

Site of Skinners Almshouses

References (Accessed 3rd September 2020)

Sebastien LB 1906 An Old City Company: A Sketch of the History and Conditions of the Skinners' Company of London. London, Skinners Company. (1) (2)

Last updated 3rd September 2020

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