|City of London Almshouses and Gresham Almshouses||Lambeth|
The City of London Almshouses comprise a series of building ranges, mainly two storeys high, that line three sides of the rectangular communal garden. On the east side past the lodge are two blocks: Rogers' Almshouses, and then Gresham's Almshouses, both relocated here in the 1880s and replacing ancient almshouses in the City. The layout of the communal garden appears little changed from its original layout, and has mature trees and grass, with railings to Ferndale Road.
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The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.
The City of London Almshouses comprise a series of building ranges, mainly two storeys high, that line three sides of the green quadrangle facing Ferndale Road. On the east side past the lodge are two blocks: Rogers' Almshouses designed by T Colcott, now renovated, and then Gresham's (1882); both relocated here in the 1880s and replaced ancient almshouses in the City. Robert Rogers' almshouses had been established in 1601 in Cripplegate; Gresham's had been in City Mews; the contractor for the new almshouses was Messrs Ashby and Horner whose tender for £3940 was accepted on 20 December 1881 by the Gresham Committee (City Side). The red-brick houses on the other two sides of the green are the City of London Freeman's Houses (1884), or Reform Almshouses established here by the Corporation of the City of London. The land was bought with money given by the public to commemorate the passing of the Parliamentary Reform Act of 1832 by providing houses for poor freemen and others of the City of London. In 1884 the 16 houses built before the Corporation acquired the land in Brixton were pulled down and rebuilt. The present buildings were designed by Davis and Emmanuel architects, replacing the earlier almshouses built in the 1830s. The foundation stone was laid on 17 December 1884 by the Chairman of the City of London Freeman's Orphan School Committee and foundation stones and plaques remain set in the walls.
During the 1960s the almshouses were modernised for the first time in the C20th and today only a handful of elderly residents are from the City; all the others have been nominated by Lambeth Council. The fourth side to the street is railed with the original railings set on a dwarf brick wall with a stone coping. The square garden appears to have changed little in layout and remains largely lawn with straight tarmac paths and lined with plane trees and horse chestnuts. The row of horse chestnuts along the fence to Ferndale Road was probably planted in the 1940s and there is also a chestnut probably planted mid-1980s between the Lodge and Rogers Almshouses. In front of the Freeman's Houses are flowerbeds set in the lawn mainly planted with roses and between the blocks are shrubs planted in earlier days, possibly by the residents themselves. Pots of plants are in front of entrances; the gardens at the backs of houses are private and have trees, shrubs and flowerbeds, with a path running beside the houses.
F H W Sheppard ed., Survey of London, The Parish of St Mary Lambeth, Southern Area, London, 1956, vol xxvi, part 2, pp96, 97; Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England: London 2: South' (Penguin) 1999; Clive Berridge, the Almshouses of London (Southampton), 1987; Yalu Porath, Fritz Schumacher, 'Ein Fuhrer durch den sozialen Wohnungsbau Londons' (Schriftenreihe des Fachbereichs Landschaftsplanun g. Kassel), 1980.
LPGT Volunteer Research by Britta Fuchs, 2005