The Whiteley Homes Trust renovates almshouses for elderly residents of Godalming

2nd June 2023

Photo credit: From The Air Property

We are currently renovating 17 Circle Road, a property in the centre of Whiteley Village, that will become three new almshouse apartments – one large double apartment on the first floor, and two single apartments, with level access, on the ground floor.

Under agreement with the Carpenters’ Livery Company, The Whiteley Homes Trust offers this new accommodation to current residents of Godalming and the surrounding parishes of Farncombe, Hambledon, Compton, Puttenham and Dunsfold, in the first instance.

So how did this agreement come about?

Richard Wyatt was a seventeenth century liveryman and three times Master of The Carpenters’ Livery Company in 1604, 1605 and 1616. He made a provision in his Will, of 1619, for the building of some almshouses ‘for ten poor men of the parishes of Godalming’. These were established in 1622 and known as Wyatt’s Almshouses.

The almshouses were later converted into eight ‘flatlets’ for ‘men who may be accompanied by their wives’ and were owned and managed by the Carpenters’ Company.

Whilst Richard Wyatt partially endowed the almshouses, ongoing financial responsibility fell to the livery company and nearly four hundred years after they were established, it was decided they were no longer fit for purpose.

The properties were sold privately in 2017 and the funds were transferred to The Whiteley Homes Trust. Under agreement with The Carpenters’ Livery Company the Trust has undertaken to ‘provide housing accommodation for up to eight persons to be known as the Richard Wyatt Residents’.

Resident applications invited

The newly renovated properties at 17 Circle Road will be the first project to be completed in June, ready for occupation from July 2023. Following successful completion of this project, we will turn our attention to the renovation of the former administration building, which will provide five new almshouses for occupation late spring 2024.

We invite applications from older people with housing need, from Godalming and the surrounding parishes within Waverley Borough Council. Our usual applicant criteria apply, with applicants from these geographical areas being given priority.

Whiteley Village, near Walton on Thames, is home to around 400 people who might otherwise have been homeless or who were living in temporary or unsuitable accommodation, and who are unable to buy or rent their own home on the open market.

All almshouses are within easy reach of the facilities, services and social opportunities that our Village has to offer, and we are home to a thriving community of older people living independently, according to the legacy of our founder, William Whiteley.

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