Sir William Turner’s Hospital
Great Broughton Village Hall
17th February 2014 -
Peter gave a lively and informative talk on the almshouses at Kirkleatham. Founded in 1676 by Sir William Turner as a hospital in the truest sense of the word, it was designed to provide hospitality as sheltered housing, from 1768 it also provided a well respected education for both boys and girls.
William Turner was born in 1615 in comfortable circumstances and as a child moved to Kirkleatham where he grew up. As the third son he had no prospects and was apprenticed as a wool maker in London less to do with actually making woollen garments but trading as a Merchant Tailor and making a successful living. In 1668 he was Lord Mayor of the City of London and was significantly responsible for the necessary rebuilding of the city (in stone and brick), after the Great Fire in 1666. This had brought him into contact with Wren, Gibbs and Pepys but after his single term in office William was able to indulge his whim of building a fine single storey building and chapel. Fifty years later after the death of his son William, aged 22, whilst on a Grand Tour he had available sufficient funds that had been set aside for his son to extend the hospital to incorporate a school with a second storey on each wing and to significantly repair the chapel.
So life continued for a number of years and many elderly people passed through their own doors. The school closed mid 20th Century and after 30 years neglect the building was once again in a parlous state. In 1995 a major refurbishment began of the individual flats that had by now become outdated and not in great demand. It has been and continues to be funded by the sale of some very valuable furniture from the church that was expensive to insure. Managed by trustees and well let to those over 60 years old it has offered nearly 400 years of sheltered accommodation to those in need.
We thank Peter for his talk and wish the trust well for the future ..
The Main Entrance to the Alms Houses
The Restored Stained Glass Chapel Window