Hunt to fill 17th century legacy

Don Cox at the almshouses in Brackley.'121206M-A324
Don Cox at the almshouses in Brackley.'121206M-A324

The hunt is on to find a tenant for a town centre property which has been providing afforable housing for the vulnerable in Brackley since the 17th century.

Depsite advertising in the library, GP surgeries and the town hall, volunteer trustees of the Brackley Almhouses in High Street have failed to find a tenant for an empty one bedroom flat.

The Almshouses were a gift to the town from Sir Thomas Crewe in 1634 and were originally intended for use by poor widows of Brackley.

Although priority is still given to widows the trustees have widened the original criteria and will consider deserving men or women, young or old, as long as they have lived in Brackley or Halse for two years.

Former trustee Don Cox said during his time the almhouses gave a young disabled man the possibility of a independent life, and also housed a former mayor and his wife for many years. He added: “It is surprising they can’t find anyone to fill it. It’s central, and they are very well maintained by the trust. It may be there just isn’t the need anymore. But there might be some who think there is a stigma attached to living in an almshouse. But it is many years since they were used only by poor widows.”

The flat is opposite a convenience store, bus stop, and has been recently refurbished with a new kitchen and carpets. It comes unfurnished but has a cooker. Night storage heaters are paid for by the trust but tenants would have to pay the remaining utility bills, council tax and a small amount towards maintenance.

To apply write to The Clerk to The Trustees, Sir Thomas Crewe’s Almshouses, 7 Easthill, Brackley, NN13 7BS.