Norwood, including Southall: Charities for the poor

Page 55

A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 4, Harmondsworth, Hayes, Norwood With Southall, Hillingdon With Uxbridge, Ickenham, Northolt, Perivale, Ruislip, Edgware, Harrow With Pinner. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1971.

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William Early, William Comyn, and Edward Hiller, in 1618 settled approximately 22 a. in Hayes in trust for the use of the poor. On this land or with this income was later erected a building called the Church House. In 1815 the Church House and the land on which it stood were exchanged by John Robins for a piece of ground at Norwood Green, fronting on Norwood Road, on which he erected four almshouses. (fn. 2) In 1901 the 4 occupants had one room each, with a communal outside convenience and cold water pump. By 1939 land at the corner of Ellison and Witley Gardens had been acquired by the trustees to erect five bungalows to replace the almshouses. Owing to the Second World War nothing was done and in the early 1950s the vacant Ellison Gardens site was bought by the borough council. The almshouses were repaired from time to time and in 1961 consisted of a row of 4 one-story cottages of yellow brick under one tiled roof. (fn. 3) They were finally demolished and rebuilt later in 1961 on the same Norwood Road site. They then consisted of 4 selfcontained flats in a two-story, L-shaped block. In 1967 the trustees bought two more flats, in Wren Avenue. (fn. 4) Six other almshouses were given to the parish in 1897 by William Welch Deloitte in honour of Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee. The income with which Deloitte endowed them also provided gifts of money and coals. The almshouses stood in 1961 in North Road, Southall, opposite Masefield Avenue, and consisted of a terrace of one-story yellow- and red-brick cottages under a slate roof. (fn. 5)

Francis Awsiter, by will dated 1625, left a rent of 20s. for those poor widows of Norwood and Southall who attended an annual Good Friday Sermon which he also endowed. William Millett, by will dated 1631, left 8 a. to be divided equally between the poor of Heston and of Norwood and Southall. In 1863 the property also included a tramway toll on bricks, 3 cottages, and £2,600 stock. (fn. 6) An annual rent of 40s. was left by George Finch, by will proved 1641, and its payment, which had temporarily ceased, was enforced by a court order in 1677. (fn. 7) Robert Hampton, by will dated 1651, also left a rent of 40s. with which to provide 13 loaves every year, the surplus to be distributed in money. By will dated 1684 Robert Merrick left £100 to purchase bread for the needy who were 'not given to the novelties of the times'. (fn. 8) By will dated 1836 Anne Burrel left 20s. each to ten poor persons in Norwood and Southall. An annuity to provide bread and meat from stock worth nearly £112 was bequeathed by Henry Phelps, by will dated 1840.

By 1863 a number of the charities had already been combined, although not in an official Scheme, and the proceeds were used for gifts in money and kind, for contributions to penny banks and clothing clubs, and to support the Norwood and Southall schools. All the charities were consolidated in 1906 as the 'Almshouse and Eleemosynary Charities'. The principal charge was the upkeep of the almshouses and the payment of stipends to not more than four couples; other income was to be used for subscriptions and contributions to hospitals and provident clubs, and to provide nurses, annuities, clothes, bedding, fuel, and medicine. During the 20th century the charity land was gradually sold, and in 1964 the governing instrument was amended. The trustees could still appoint four couples, although in practice only two of the new flats were suitable for more than one occupant. (fn. 9) The gross income in 1966 was £567.


  • 1. Except where otherwise stated this section is based on Char. Com. files.
  • 2. Brewer, Beauties of Eng. and Wales, x(5), 610.
  • 3. There was also a low wall in front of the almshouses with an inscription briefly recording their history. See plate facing, p. 152.
  • 4. Ex inf. clerk of Norwood Charities.
  • 5. They are inscribed 'Deloitte Almshouses Jubilee 1897'.
  • 6. Southall Bor. Libr., Churchwardens' Acct. Bk. 1676- 1744.
  • 7. C 93/36/17.
  • 8. Southall Bor. Libr., Churchwardens' Acct. Bk. 1676- 1744.
  • 9. Ex inf. clerk of Norwood Charities.