A HISTORIC building in a village near Uttoxeter is set for a new lease of life after a major remodelling project was given the green light.
The trustees of the Abbots Bromley Hospital Almshouses in Bagot Street have been given the go-ahead by East Staffordshire Borough Council to significantly enhance the buildings to bring them up to modern standards.
Founded under the will of Lambard Bagot dated 1702, the charming eighteenth century building was built in the centre of Abbots Bromley to provide accommodation for ‘six old men’ in the days before the welfare state existed.
Offering homes to those from Abbots Bromley and the vicinity who had no other places to live, the donor – an ancestor of the Bagots of Blithfield Hall – expected the residents to go to church on Sundays and to behave properly and in return they were provided with free accommodation and a new overcoat with LB embroidered on it every two years.
The properties were primitive but provided shelter to many over time. In the 20th century change happened very gradually – first, a female resident, then piped water, and eventually the request for some small financial contribution from the residents towards the running costs of the building.
The original building has not been altered since the 1960s and the floor plan is still that of the 18th century.
Chairman of the six trustees who look after the almshouses, Mithra Tonking, told the Advertiser: “The trustees of the charity, faced with accommodation that no longer meets modern needs and requirements, have embarked on a major re-modelling project to upgrade the facilities and to improve the accommodation offered so as to continue the life of the charity and the building for years to come.
“With the help of grant funds from the Homes and Communities Agency, St John’s Hospital in Lichfield and the Baron Davenport Trust, together with funding through the charity itself, the project is due to start in the spring and will be complete by the end of the year.”