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The present day charity is an amalgamation of very many smaller charities which had been set up (endowed) by local benefactors.

Almshouses are the oldest form of social housing, and have existed for over 1000 years, enabling people in need to retain their independence and to live in their local community. The first recorded Almshouse was founded by King Athelstan in York, in the 10th Century AD. The oldest charity still in existence is thought to be the Hospital of St. Oswald in Worcester, founded circa 990.

The Walthamstow and Chingford Almshouse Charity has four sets of Almshouses providing modern accommodation to older people from Walthamstow and Chingford. These are Sir George Monoux Almshouses, endowed (established) in 1527, Mary Squires Almshouses, endowed in 1795, and Jane Sabina Collard Almshouses endowed in 1881. The Squires Almshouses and part of the Sir George Monoux Almshouses date back to the time they were originally endowed, and are Grade II Listed. The Collard Court Almshouses were rebuilt in 1975. The Chingford Almshouses were built at the Green in Chingford in 1859, in 1957 the five almshouses were sold and new almshouses were built at Templeton Avenue, Chingford in 1959. These were demolished and rebuilt in 2009.


The Walthamstow and Chingford Almshouse Charity is governed by a limited company. The Walthamstow and Chingford Almshouse Trustee Company (6374226) was set up specifically to manage the affairs of the charity. The registered office of the company is the same as for the charity.

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