Almshouses

Weavers' House

A Short History of Weavers' House

The Company’s first Almshouses were funded by a Liveryman, William Watson, and built in Hoxton in the seventeenth century, for retired weavers and the widows of weavers.  In the following century, the Company received a legacy of property in Holborn and six Almshouses in Porters’ Fields.  By the mid-nineteenth century, the Porters’ Fields Almshouses were in a decayed state and it was decided to consolidate the Almshouses by building on a site at Wanstead, near Epping Forest.  Funds were raised by subscription (including 25 guineas from HRH The Prince of Wales) and the building was ready for occupation by 1859.  In traditional style, with a central clock tower, the building provided twelve dwellings for men and twelve for women, with a large Court Room and accommodation for a Superintendent in the central block.

By the 1960s, there were few working weavers in the London area and the Company considered the future of the Almshouses. A Charity Commission scheme enabled the Company to extend occupancy of the Almshouses to non-weavers and in 1975/76, with the aid of grants, the fine Victorian building (which had become a local landmark) was completely modernised. At the same time a new block of flats, including a Court Room, was built to the rear. This new block was extended in 1988 with the provision of a lift, six additional flats and an enlarged Court Room, providing a congenial meeting place for residents.

Living at Weavers' House

Weavers’ House consists of 38 flats, ranging in size from a one-room studio flat to a flat with two bedrooms.  The vast majority, however, comprise a living room, bedroom, bathroom and a kitchen.  There is a communal laundry and a guest room, while the Court Room provides a comfortable socialising area for the residents.  The complex is managed by two wardens, assisted by a cleaner and a gardener/handyman.

With the support of the Wardens, a residents’ social committee arranges coffee mornings, trips and outings.  The Company arranges an annual summer outing and a Christmas Party.  HRH Princess Michael of Kent, an Honorary Freeman, has taken a particular interest in Weavers’ House and its residents over many years, visiting at Christmas and on other special occasions.

Applying for Weavers' House

The Company maintains a waiting list for vacant flats but gives priority to applicants in greatest housing need.

We would recommend that applicants also register with Redbridge Council for support with housing, as we are unable to give a clear indication of when we might have a vacancy, or whether or not an offer of accommodation will ultimately be made.

All applicants must meet the Company’s admission criteria and be interviewed by a representative of the Company before they can be considered for any vacancy.

Each time a vacancy arises, we consider all applicants on their merits, so preference is not necessarily given to those who have been longest on the waiting list.

Need more information?

Please contact Anne Howe, Charities Officer at charity@weavers.org.uk

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