Almshouses

Richmond Charities' Almshouses consists of 124 almshouses in Richmond and Twickenham: 50 at Hickey's; 9 at Houblon's; 10 at Bishop Duppa's; 4 at Queen Elizabeth's; 18 at Michel's; 5 at Benn's Walk, 18 at Church Estate and 10 at Candler (Twickenham). In addition at Hickey's, there is a chapel dedicated to St Francis of Assisi, the chaplain's house and two lodges for staff. The almshouses are for local people aged over 65, who are of limited means and require an improvement in their living conditions.

The Charity's area of benefit is London Borough of Richmond, in which the majority of the almshouse residents will have been living at the time of their appointment, but limited provision is made for the appointment of residents irrespective of their former place of residence. Preference is given to applicants living in private rented property.

As recently as 1943, the residents of Richmond Charities' Almshouses received a monthly allowance of £2.5s. (£2.25p), together with three tons of coal a year, a dress or suit of clothes every other year, or a great coat every fifth year. Pensions continued to be paid for some years, but the position has now entirely changed, in that, where necessary, our residents receive financial support within the state welfare system. They pay for the provision of central heating, where this is provided, and in addition pay a subsidised weekly maintenance contribution (WMC) towards the maintenance of the almshouses. The staff employed on the almshouses estates consists of a chaplain, scheme managers, home-help, health & safety officer, caretaker and decorator. The role of the scheme manager is to look after the almshouse estate and act as a facilitator, monitoring the well-being of their residents and to call in the appropriate services when required.

Residents pay their own household bills. They occupy the almshouses as beneficiaries of a charitable trust and do not have security of tenure. There are no longer any qualifications with regard to gender or religion

Queen Elizabeth’s Almshouses

The Vineyard, Richmond, Surrey TW10 6AL

Queen Elizabeth's Almshouses were founded in 1600 by Sir George Wright on Ferry Hill, Petersham Road. These were the first of The Richmond Charities almshouses. In 1767, William Turner rebuilt the almshouses on land at the top end of his estate in The Vineyard. Funds for the rebuilding were raised by public subscription. The eight almshouses thus erected were damaged during World War II and replaced with four newly built houses in 1955.

Michel’s Almshouses

The Vineyard, Richmond, Surrey TW10 6AH

michels3Michel's Almshouses were founded in 1695 by Humphrey Michel. This charity owned property in The Vineyard and, at one time, land in Maiden Lane, which now forms part of the stage of the Adelphi Theatre. On his uncle's death John Michel gave a further endowment to the charity.

Hickey’s Almshouses

Sheen Road, Richmond, Surrey TW9 1XB

hickeys7

Hickey's charity was founded by William Hickey, who died in 1728 and is buried in St Mary's Churchyard, close to the west door. By his Will he provided for pensions of £4 per annum for six poor men and ten poor women to be elected by his Trustees and also provided for payment to each of the almspeople at Bishop Duppa's Almshouses of an additional pension of £1 per annum. He left a considerable amount of property in Richmond, including what is now known as the Richmond Hill Hotel, Mansfield Place, Doughty House, the Richmond Gate Hotel, The Wick and several houses on The Terrace. This charity was augmented by a gift of Elizabeth Doughty in 1822.

Houblon’s Almshouses

Worple Way, Richmond, Surrey TW10 6DA

Houblon's Almshouses were founded in1757 by Rebecca and Susanna Houblon, who vested the site of the almshouses and 2½ acres of land at the rear (now Houblon Road), together with some property at Harrow and Bollinhatch in Essex in trust to endow the almshouses. The Houblon sisters were unmarried daughters of Sir John Houblon, the first Governor of the Bank of England and they were almost certainly descended from Huguenot refugees, hence the provision that inmates of the almshouses should be Protestants (this is no longer the case). The sisters lived virtually all of their lives in a mansion on Richmond Hill that is now the Old Vicarage School.

Church Estate Almshouses

Sheen Road, Richmond, Surrey TW9 1UX

The Church Estate is the oldest charity in Richmond and was thought to have been founded in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I by Thomas Owings who bequeathed land for the use of the poor of the parish. However, research indicates that the charity may date back to 1375 with an endowment provided by Merton Priory for the maintenance of the chapel of Shene and its manse, and later augmented for the benefit of the poor. The almshouses of the Church Estate were for men and women who were members of the Church of England and they originally had similar rules to those at the other almshouses. The residents had an express right to sittings at Hickey's Chapel. These almshouses face Sheen Road and were built in 1843. In 1968, two small blocks, each containing four studio flats, were built on the land behind the almshouses and 2 to 18 St Mary's Grove. In 2005, one of the small blocks of flats was extended and developed to create four one-bedroom flats.

Candler Almshouses

79 Amyand Park Road, Twickenham, Middlesex TW1 3HJ

Candler Almshouses are located in Amyand Park Road, Twickenham, midway between St. Margaret's and Twickenham stations. Originally the parish managed almshouses in School Alley off The Embankment, Twickenham. In 1876 Elizabeth Twining, of the tea family who lived nearby in Dial House, Riverside, restored the buildings. Those almshouses were replaced in 1936 by five new buildings in Amyand Park Road, with the addition of five more at the same time to fulfil the bequest of William Candler who died in 1907. The terrace of one-storey almshouses is shaped into a crescent.

Bishop Duppa’s Almshouses

The Vineyard, Richmond, Surrey TW10 6AJ

bishop d1Bishop Duppa's Almshouses were founded by Bryan Duppa in 1661. Bryan Duppa, Bishop of Chichester was tutor to Charles, Prince of Wales, later Charles II, at Richmond Palace. Deprived of his bishopric, Bryan Duppa retired to a house on the site of the old Town Hall in Richmond. He promised that, if his pupil were restored to the throne, he would found almshouses in thanksgiving. After the Restoration in 1660, he was appointed Bishop of Winchester. He died in 1662 at his Richmond home.

Benn’s Walk

Benn's Walk, Richmond, Surrey TW9 2SY

In 1983 six almshouses, consisting of two studios and four one-bedroom bungalows, were built on the site of Benn’s Cottages and are known as Benn’s Walk. The two studios were combined and converted into a one-bedroom bungalow in 2002.