and Royal Magdalene Almshouses


Aug2013 011The first almshouse is intended to be a re-creation of an original almshouse but is not yet complete. The elevated section is a replica of the bedroom floor.

The hospital of St Mary Magdalene may have been founded as early as 1264. ‘Of the gift and foundation of the Abbotts of Glaston’ to house 10 poor men before 1322. Then it was an open-roofed hall with a central passageway and wooden cubicles on each side. As the original dedication was to Mary Magdalene, some of the first occupants may have been men suffering from leprosy (Mary is the patron saint of lepers).

An old fireplace

After the dissolution of the monasteries, the roof was removed and two rows of almshouses built. The almshouses were financed with grants from the Crown. By 1958 they were considered derelict and one row was demolished. New flatlets were built in the old garden (and are still there).

Ground plan of the Medieval/early Tudor complex The Mary and Margaret charity has the use of these almshouses. On the right is a picture of the inside of part of one room with a visible fireplace.

The double range of almshouses, just before partial demoltion The almshouses now; a garden fills the empty plot