Answers to Questions


Broxbourne Almshouses

October, 2011




Danny Kyle (DKTree @t of Benfleet, Essex, writes: I am researching my tree and currently finding details on my Gt. Gt. Grandmother, Ann Huckle (nee Hall). In the 1891 Census she is resident on the High Road, Broxbourne.  I am trying find out the name of the place she is living and what kind of residence it is.  On the Census, it states High Road then in brackets, which I believe to say, Alburn House but not sure as it is hard to read the transcript.  On the Census the residence shows the White Bear public House, which I beleive is still there, a residence, then Eastfield House, then where my Gt Gt Grandmother is.  All the residence are female and above 68 years old.  We believe Ann dies one year later in Ware wondering if this will turn out to be one and the same place.  Ann is a widow by this time. I am wondering if Ann is in a form of work house or if the place is some kind of care home. 

The hard to read description of the building is "Alms House" and Ann Huckle and her fellow inhabitants are described as Almshouse Women.  Most towns in Hertfordshire had almshouses which were charities that provided accommodation for the usually elderly poor, often widows. The Victoria County History chapter on Broxboune describes the building where Ann was living and the charity which helped her.:

Opposite the Bull Inn are the Monson Almshouses erected in 1728. They are contained in a plain two-storied building of brick, with sash-windows, and a crowning cornice of moulded brick. Over the entrance doorway is the following inscription:

'This Building is Erected at the Sole

charge of Dame Laetitia Monson

Relict of Sr William Monson Bart

and was Daughter of John Lord Poulet

of Hinton St George in the County of Somersett,

which Gift is for the Relief

and Benefitt of poore Widows of the

Parish of Broxborne in Hartfordshire

in the year of our Lord 1728.

Above on a lozenge are the arms of Monson impaling Poulett.


The Almshouses, Broxbourne, Hertfordshire

Detail of 1905 picture of Almshouses from Broxbourne and Wormley's Past in Pictures

The almshouses erected by Dame Letitia Monson for six poor widows, and endowed by her will, dated in 1729, are regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners 6 January 1888. The present endowment consists of 2,663 6s. 9d. Bank of England stock, which produced in 1909 254 10s. 11d., and a sum of 519 10s. 9d. consols, producing 12 19s. 8d. yearly; the former sum of stock is standing in the name of the Paymaster-General in the High Court of Justice, and the latter is held by the official trustees.

In 190910 the sum of 163 16s. was paid to nine inmates, 7 4s. 9d. for gowns, 34 9s. for wood and coal, 5s. to the vicar for gloves and 10 for prayers and services.

The following modern picture is from Google Street View

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Ann's Death Certificate should give details of where (and how) Ann died - and Ware may have merely been the place the death was registered.

If you can add to the information given above tell me.

October 2011   Page created