Vintners Company Almshouses

39-41 Mile End Road, E1 4TP


By his will of 7th November 1466 Guy Shuldham bequeathed land and various properties in the City of London parishes of St Martin Vintry and St James, Garlickhythe, to the Vintners Company with the instruction that 13 of his 'little mansions' be converted into almshouses for 13 poor men or women. (These premises seem to have been only rooms in a large building.) The residue of the income from the lands and buildings should be used to provide the almshouse tenants an annual income of 4s 4d (22p) each.

The almshouses were destroyed in 1666 during the Great Fire of London, but the Company bought a plot of land adjacent to the Trinity Almshouses in Mile End on which to rebuild them. The buildings were completed in 1676.

A bequest of £2,000 by Benjamin Kenton, who died in 1802, enabled the almshouses to be demolished and rebuilt. They then consisted of 12 small houses - six on each side of a courtyard - with a chapel on the third side, opposite the entrance. In the middle of the courtyard was a water pump, topped with a lamp.

Each almshouse had two stone steps leading to its own front door. The parlour and bedroom were located on the raised ground floor and a kitchen or cellar in the semi-basement.

The 12 occupants of the almshouses were women, usually aged 60 years or over. Initially they were the widows of liverymen, but later if these were not sufficient in number, places were offered to widows of freemen. Each resident received 1 guinea (£1.05) annually on a fixed day for the commemoration of Mr Kenton.

During WW2 (1939-1945) the almshouse buildings were damaged by bombs in 1941. The Company abandoned the site and, by the end of the 1950s, had provided new almshouses at The Vintry in Nutley, East Sussex.


Current status

The approximate site of the almshouses is Sinh Le, a Chinese restaurant in a small parade of shops.

Sinh Le restaurant

The Sinh Le restaurant in Mile End Road.

References (Accessed 27th July 2020)

Mackeson E (ed) 1880 Low's Handbook to the Charities of London. London, E. Boothroyd, p.183.

Last updated 27th July 2020

Click here to return to Almshouses of London alphabetical list
Click here to return to home page