|Monoux Almshouses||Waltham Forest|
Monoux Almshouses date from 1527 and were established by Sir George Monoux adjacent to St Mary Walthamstow, together with a school for boys. The almshouses have gardens at the front and back, although the boundary with the adjacent churchyard today is ill-defined.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/10/2005
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Sir George Monoux was a successful Bristol merchant who had come to London in 1502; in 1507 he built his house, ‘Moons’, on a site now marked by Monoux Grove, off Billet Road. An MP and Master of the Drapers' Company, by 1514 he was Mayor of London. Monoux Almshouses consisting of 14 houses, together with a Grammar School for Boys were designed and built to Monoux's own specification on land he acquired on 16 June 1527 from the Prior and Vicar of St Mary Walthamstow (q.v.) so that he could build ‘houses for pore folks and the edification and building for a Schole master and a ffree scole’. After his death Monoux had provided for the maintenance of the almshouses and school in perpetuity out of the proceeds of his estate; however the trustees shirked their duties and the building fell into disrepair. In 1782 Walthamstow Parish took over the charities and the building was thereafter maintained. Part of Monoux Almshouses were destroyed in an air raid on 8 October 1940 and the west end was rebuilt in 1955. Walthamstow Almshouse and General Charities have owned the almshouses since 1957 and in 1995 substantial restoration was undertaken to the interior while preserving the Tudor exterior. They are now private dwellings.
The surrounding garden has informal lawns and borders both front and back, although a C19th plan indicates that residents were once responsible for their own gardens as the plots are shown divided equally between the houses with the privy at the end of the plot. There is no evidence of the old plots today. Prior to 1940 photographs show a row of pollarded trees at the front, which were probably cut down when rebuilding took place. Today there is a recently-laid brick path and patio with the rest mostly grassed over; the brick paved path runs along the whole front of the almshouses. The boundary between the almshouses and the churchyard is now almost undefined as a stretch of grass combines the two areas although the boundary is clearer on maps and the gardens have mown grass while the graveyard is left unmown for wildlife. A magnolia was planted in the front garden in 1999 by trustee Jean Croxton. Although there are few trees in the garden, there are mature horse chestnuts, limes and a yew in the churchyard, and the vicarage at the back has mature trees, the boundary marked by a wooden larch lap fence. The enclosed back garden has two rowan trees planted in the lawn and commemorative benches.
A D Law 'Walthamstow Village', (Walthamstow Antiquarian Society), 1968; A D Law 'Walthamstow Village', (Walthamstow Historical Society), 1996, 5th edition; J M Gibson 'The Walthamstow Charities. Caring for the Poor 1500-2000' (Phillimore), 2000.
LPGT Volunteer Research by Catherine Davis, 2005