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Lloyd Court was built on the site of the Children’s block of  St Olave’s Union Workhouse. The Bermondsey Board of Guardians bought Slagrave* Farm in Ladywell in 1897 to build a new workhouse for their elderly and infirm residents but lacked space in their own district. Some of the buildings survive.

*This is odd and confusing: the farm really was called Slagrave but the road today is Slagrove

The site’s history is interesting: originally Slagrove Farm before the railways came and populated the area, the Olave Union Infirmary was built here between 1897-1900 and was intended solely for the accommodation of the aged and infirm, possibly the only such establishment of its type. By 1916 it had become known as the Bermondsey Institution.

 During the First World War, Ladywell provided treatment for military personnel under the name of Bermondsey Military Hospital.

After 1930, the institution was taken over by the London County Council's welfare department and continued in use as a residential institution for the elderly until the 60s when most of the buildings were demolished.

Here’s a link to a more detailed history: http://www.workhouses.org.uk/StOlave/

In their Scheme 298 dated 1990, the Charity Commission stated the charities previously known as the United Charities and others (themselves regulated in Schemes dated 1931 and 1951) would be amalgamated into 4 new charities and administered by the Lewisham Parochial Charities

Lewisham Relief in Need     (1025779)

The Charity of Humphrey Street; The Charity of John Mylam; The Charity know as the Allotment Land; The Charity of Richard Brooke; The Charity of Mary Smith; The Charity of William Innis; The Charity of Susannah Brett; The Charity of Bevil Molesworth; The Charity of William Holmes; The Charity of John Thackeray for Pecuniary Gifts; The Charity of Frances Burford; The Charity of Henry Richard Wright; The Charity of George McCummins; The Charity of Valentine Sparrow for Bread; the Charity of Thomas Watson Parker; The Charity of Thomas Shipman for Poor; Abraham Colfe’s Parochial Charities; The Charity of William Bond; The Charity of John Wood (Poor’s Branch); The Charity of Alfred Orchard Weeks

Lewisham General Trust      (1025794)

The Charity known as the Herbage or Enclosure Rents; The Charity of Michael Thomas Whitehill

Lewisham Education Charity    (1025785)

The Charities of Dean and Ann Stanhope, The Charity of John Wood (Educational Branch); The Parochial Charities Foundation for exhibitions; The Charity called the Samuel Edwards Educational Foundation for Lewisham

Lewisham Almshouse Charity of John Thackeray      (1025792)

Renamed from The Charity of John Thackeray for Almshouses.

Lewisham Parochial Charities

©  Boston Public Library and the Internet Archive

Almshouses have been a part of the Lewisham community for hundreds of years, with the first of our almshouses being built in 1664.  Almshouses were linked to the parish church (St Mary’s Lewisham in our case) and were normally endowed by rich residents for spinsters of the parish who had fallen on hard times. Obviously, they are now open to both men and women who can show they are in need.


Colfe’s Almshouses  1899

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