click photo to enlargeHere is the Listing text of the Grade II* Hopton's Almshouses on Southwark Street, Bermondsey, London.
Almshouses and committee room. 1746-9. Built by Thomas Ellis and William Cooley to designs of Mr Batterson, trustee of Charles Hopton's will and a builder; house on right rebuilt after war damage; all buildings modernised and re-opened 1988.
MATERIALS: brick with rusticated stone quoins; hipped tiled roof (renewed) with overhanging eaves.
PLAN: forms the central block of a group of (originally) 28 almshouses, ranged around 3 sides of a garden (this block on the eastern side).
EXTERIOR: 2 storeys, each almshouse 2 bays, the central committee room of 3 bays pedimented and slightly projecting. Central entrance has 6-panelled door with timber surround, consoled cornice and foundation tablet above: "Chas. Hopton Esq sole founder of this charity Anno 1752". Entrance flanked by tall sash windows with glazing bars, round-arched with keystoned architraves and bracketed sills. Almshouses have gauged red brick segmental arches to ground-floor openings, sash windows with glazing bars in plain reveals to both floors.
INTERIOR: committee room panelled with shouldered fireplace and heavy overmantel and recessed panels.
Almshouses are charitable buildings, usually for the elderly beyond working age. They are sometimes restricted to a single sex, married couples, by place of birth, previous employment or by religious denomination, depending on the wishes of the original benefactor. Almshouses, some dating back several centuries, can be seen in many towns and cities of Britain. These Georgian examples are set in a garden in Bermondsey and are being slowly surrounded by high-rise buildings.
photograph and text (c) T. Boughen
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