Charity of Sarah Duchess of Marlborough

History

The

Almshouse

of

the

Duchess

of

Marlborough

Charity

is

the

largest

in

St.

Albans.

It

is

also

known

as

Marlborough

Buildings.

The

36

flats

within

the

build-ing

were

enrolled

in

the

Court

of

Chancery,

in

June

1736

by

Sarah,

Duchess

of

Marlborough,

(right)

born

Sarah

Jennings

at

Waterend,

Wheathampstead.

Later

she

lived

at

Holywell

House,

St.

Albans.

It

is

thought

that

the

reason

for

her

generosity

in

building

and

endowing

such

a

large

Almshouse

for

local

elderly people was a mark of affection for the district in which she had lived so long.

In

1733

the

site

for

her

Almshouse

was

purchased

in

Hatfield

Road,

then

called

New

Lane,

later

Cock

Lane.

(see

map

left)

At

the

time,

the

building

was

a

boys’

boarding

school.

The

London

Evening

Post,

February

1733,

noted:

‘On

Saturday,

several

workmen

began

to

take

down

diverse

buildings

in

St.

Albans

by

order

of

Her

Grace

the

Duchess

of

Marlborough,

in

order

to

raise

a

noble

building

for

the

relief

of

poor

families of the town’.

At

her

death

in

1744,

Sarah

left

money,

securities

and

jewellery

worth

about

four

million

pounds.

There

were

also

estates

belonging

to

her

family.

Her

wealth

enabled

construction

of

the

building

and

the

occupants

to

be

provided

for

in

the

foresee-able

future.

Rules

for

the

management

of

the

Almshouse

have

changed

over

the

years,

with

Trustees

taking

on

the

re-sponsibility

for

the

property

and

land.

In

the

past

a

sum

of

£20

was

paid

by

the

Trustees

to

the

Abbey

or

Church

of

St.

Peter

‘for

overlooking

the

occupants

of

the

almshouses, to watch their conduct and see they live soberly and piously’.

All

applicants

for

dwellings

were

to

be

over

60

years

and

have

£20

yearly

of

their

own

money.

As

late

as

1911

residents

were

warned

that

to absent themselves from the premises for more than three days without permission could result in dismissal.

Although

the

main

building

is

mostly

original

there

have

been

many

changes

over

the

years.

Some

of

the

home

comforts

we

take

for

granted today such as mains water, electricity, internal bathrooms, toilets and central heating have all been added.

Constitution

The Trust is a registered charity governed by a Charity Commission Scheme registered number 209340.

Management

The Trust is governed by a board of voluntary local Trustees. Day-to-day management of its affairs is delegated to the Clerk.

The Almshouse Today

The

charity

manages

un-furnished

dwellings

which

are

designed

with

the

needs

of

older

people

in

mind.

The

Marlborough

Almshouse

consists of 33 single bedroom flats, 2 two bedroom flats and an administrative office, (see below)

An outbuilding contains the boiler room and the launderette.

The

principle

behind

everything

that

the

Trust

does

is

that

residents

should

enjoy

independence,

safety

and

the

freedom

to

come

and

go

as

they

please

while

living

in

comfortable

and

secure

accommodation.

Residents

should

feel

confident

in

the

knowledge

that

support

will

always

be

available,

whether

from the Trustees or from outside agencies, should the need arise.

Website design by bill@bills-it.co.uk
Charity of Sarah Duchess of Marlborough
Registered Charity no. 209340

History

The Almshouse of the Duchess of Marlborough Charity is the largest in St. Albans. It is also known as Marlborough Buildings.

The

36

flats

within

the

build-ing

were

enrolled

in

the

Court

of

Chancery,

in

June

1736

by

Sarah,

Duchess

of

Marlborough,

(right)

born

Sarah

Jennings

at

Waterend,

Wheathampstead.

Later

she

lived

at

Holywell

House,

St.

Albans.

It

is

thought

that

the

reason

for

her

generosity

in

building

and

endowing

such

a

large

Almshouse

for

local

elderly

people

was

a

mark

of

affection

for

the

district

in

which

she

had lived so long.

In

1733

the

site

for

her

Almshouse

was

purchased

in

Hatfield

Road,

then

called

New

Lane,

later

Cock

Lane.

(see

map

left)

At

the

time,

the

building

was

a

boys’

boarding

school.

The

London

Evening

Post,

February

1733,

noted:

‘On

Saturday,

several

workmen

began

to

take

down

diverse

buildings

in

St.

Albans

by

order

of

Her

Grace

the

Duchess

of

Marlborough,

in

order

to

raise

a

noble

building

for

the

relief

of poor families of the town’.

At

her

death

in

1744,

Sarah

left

money,

securities

and

jewellery

worth

about

four

million

pounds.

There

were

also

estates

belonging

to

her family. Her wealth enabled construction of the building and the occupants to be provided for in the foresee-able future.

Rules

for

the

management

of

the

Almshouse

have

changed

over

the

years,

with

Trustees

taking

on

the

re-sponsibility

for

the

property

and

land.

In

the

past

a

sum

of

£20

was

paid

by

the

Trustees

to

the

Abbey

or

Church

of

St.

Peter

‘for

overlooking

the

occupants

of

the

almshouses, to watch their conduct and see they live soberly and piously’.

All

applicants

for

dwellings

were

to

be

over

60

years

and

have

£20

yearly

of

their

own

money.

As

late

as

1911

residents

were

warned

that

to absent themselves from the premises for more than three days without permission could result in dismissal.

Although

the

main

building

is

mostly

original

there

have

been

many

changes

over

the

years.

Some

of

the

home

comforts

we

take

for

granted today such as mains water, electricity, internal bathrooms, toilets and central heating have all been added.

Constitution

The Trust is a registered charity governed by a Charity Commission Scheme registered number 209340.

Management

The Trust is governed by a board of voluntary local Trustees. Day-to-day management of its affairs is delegated to the Clerk.

The Almshouse Today

The

charity

manages

un-furnished

dwellings

which

are

designed

with

the

needs

of

older

people

in

mind.

The

Marlborough

Almshouse

consists of 33 single bedroom flats, 2 two bedroom flats and an administrative office, (see below)

An outbuilding contains the boiler room and the launderette.

The

principle

behind

everything

that

the

Trust

does

is

that

residents

should

enjoy

independence,

safety

and

the

freedom

to

come

and

go

as

they

please

while

living

in

comfortable

and

secure

accommodation.

Residents

should

feel

confident

in

the

knowledge

that

support

will always be available, whether from the Trustees or from outside agencies, should the need arise.