Municipal Charities of Stratford-upon-Avon
A charity with a long tradition, based in Stratford upon Avon,
providing supported housing and financial assistance for local people
Almshouses are a form of charitable supported housing provided for vulnerable people. Most residents are typically older people who wish to maintain an independent lifestyle.
Typically, individual almshouses are small organisations which have developed from medieval benevolent beginnings, linked to guilds or to particular localities. The number of residents will generally range from 3-5 (for very small almshouses) to 15-20 (for average almshouses). There are, however, a small number of larger almshouses who are more recognisable as a form of housing association. Overall, there are some 2,000 separate almshouses nationally, supporting over 35,000 people.
In the case of the almshouses in Church Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, now known as Guild Cottages, they were founded by the Guild of the Holy Cross, the members of which are remembered to this day by way of the plaque located near to the entrance.