As work is carried out to bring Buckingham’s Christ’s Hospital almshouses into the 21st century, there’s a rare chance for enthusiasts to get their hands on historic documents relating to the building.
On Tuesday, September 10, Buckingham historian Ed Grimsdale will be leading the first of two workshops, where members of the public can help transcribe some of 160 trade bills associated with the old Buckingham charities, including Christ’s Hospital.
The second workshop is on Wednesday, September 18.
Workshops run from 10.15am to 12.15pm and the cost to take part in both sessions is £4. Places should be booked in advance via the Tourist Information Centre at the Old Gaol.
Mr Grimsdale will be giving an illustrated talk on the Buckingham charities, based on the material transcribed, at the Old Gaol at 7.30pm on November 13.
The almshouses are being renovated to bring them up to modern standards, to a design by award-winning Tingewick designer Alan C. Watson.
Mr Grimsdalesaid: “We’re renovating them in the 60th year of our Queen’s reign and the building was originally put up to replace the original almshouses in the 60th year of Queen Victoria’s reign.”
Founded in 1312, probably as a leper hospital, by the time of Elizabeth I the original plain stone building building hadbecome a set of almshouses for six unmarried women.
The sale of the land to the rear provided funds of £800 used in 1897 to demolish the original building and build the present red-brick tenement.
The architect was Lincolnshire-born Charles Bell, who specialised in designing Methodist chapels, and this was to be one of his last works.
>>Thanks to Ed Grimsdale for his research.