Reach: Charities for the poor

Page 230

A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 10, Cheveley, Flendish, Staine and Staploe Hundreds (North-Eastern Cambridgeshire). Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 2002.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.



The 8 a. in Swaffham Prior left by Thomas Rolf of Reach in 1529 for the benefit of the township, subject to an obit in the same manner as William Thompson's bequest, (fn. 1) was to relieve the poor, including those of Reach, of taxes. It was included from 1577, as 8¾ a., in the Swaffham Prior charity estate. (fn. 2) By the 1860s that estate included two cottages at Reach, (fn. 3) by 1800 usually let to poor people. (fn. 4) From the 1870s Reach men often occupied three quarters or more of the Swaffham Prior charity land, including 18 a. on Church Hill, let as allotments. (fn. 5) The two dilapidated almshouses on Reach green were demolished and their sites sold in 1951-2. (fn. 6) From 1955 Reach, just constituted a separate parish, was assigned a quarter of the net income of the ancient Swaffham Prior charities. By 1990 Reach's share was worth almost £1,500, of which a quarter or more went to old people. (fn. 7)


  • 1. P.R.O., PROB 11/24, f. 23.
  • 2. e.g. ibid. C 93/57, no. 6; 31st Rep. Com. Char. 147-8; cf. below, Swaffham Prior, char.
  • 3. C.R.O., P 150/25/34.
  • 4. Cf. B.L. Add. MS. 9412, f. 291.
  • 5. C.R.O., P 150/25/36, 40.
  • 6. Char. Com. file 201117 A/2, corr. 1951-2.
  • 7. Ibid. corr. 1954-5; Scheme 1955; accts. 1988 sqq.