Alms Houses

6 Grade II Listed Cottages

Pickering Byrds Charity is a registered Charity with the Charity Commission. The trust is administered by a body of Trustees who give their services voluntarily. A clerk is appointed by the trustees who deals with the day to day administration of the Charity.

The Alms Houses comprise of 6 Grade II listed cottages, situated within a conservation area. The properties date back to around 1756, and can be found to the south west elevation of the church and form one long stone building with dormer windows. The tablet to the front elevation records:

“This Hospital was erected and endowed for the support of eight Poor Persons by Mrs. Dorothy Elizabeth Pickering, eldest daughter of the late Sir Gilbert Pickering, Bart., Anno Domini 1756.”

The tablet to the far end records that:

“This building, an asylum for Bedes women, was erected AD MDCCCLMII by donation of the late T Coales Esq” From Parishes: Titchmarsh, A History of the County of Northampton: Volume 3 (1930), pp 142-149 URL:

What does “Alms” mean?

Charitable donations of money or goods to the poor or needy. In this case the provision of 6 cottages to provide accommodation.

Part of our History

Almshouses have existed for over 1000 years enabling individuals in need to retain their independence and to live in their local community.

When did they start?

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.

Who owns Almshouses?

Each Almshouse Charity is independent and run by voluntary trustees.

What are their aims?

To provide independent living for needy people, mostly elderly, with a high standard of affordable housing in their community.