The Almshouses present one of the finest buildings in Calne. This part of Calne is very attractive with many fine properties and is steeped in history. They are Grade II listed homes and stand opposite the south entrance to St Mary’s Church. The cottages are in a safe, central location on Kingsbury Street and there is a bus stop, shop and post office within 30 yards of the cottages. The GP and Social Centre are also very closeby. Though access is easy from the rear of the Almshouses, consideration would need to be given for less mobile people and would be a matter to discuss with the Trustees. Please contact us with any queries.
Our Charity goes to great lengths to maintain the Almshouses to a high standard and to do our best to safeguard the comfort of our residents in order that they can live independently as long as they are able.
These dwellings were erected in 1682 by Dr John Townson, vicar of Bremhill and son of Robert Townson, the Bishop of Salisbury. Originally built in 'limewashed limestone rubble with ashlar ridge stone mullioned windows', in what Pevsner refers to as 'the local vernacular style'. The Almshouses were originally designed to accommodate the needy widows of the parish and were administered by the Church. This is no longer the case as we now have a panel of four Trustees who consider all applications. Lord Lansdowne is an active supporter of our cause.
There were originally eight dwellings in total; each on two floors, access to the upper floor, which was the sleeping area, was by ladder. There was a communal washhouse and privy where the pretty garden now stands.
In the 1960s these dwellings were redesigned to form three flats with lounge, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom – albeit very small. There is also one bedsit unit. Entry to these homes is via the rear of the property with access to a delightful garden.
These beautiful old images are shown by kind permission of The Francis Frith Collection. To view more memories and maps of our delightful town go here.
If like us, you're interested in local history, you may like the book Calne Living Memories by Dee La Vardera, also available from Francis Frith. Please click here.
Registered charity numbers: Advancement in Life 278477. Relief in Need 205038. Almshouses 205037.