London Livery Companies are quietly proud of their sustained commitment to a wide variety of charitable causes both in the City and elsewhere. We are no exception.
The Company now has 28 Almshouses at Crawley in Sussex. However the first foundation was that of Robert Tyrwhitt in 1545 linked with his gift of the "Three Stars" messuage to the Company. Other gifts followed to make a total of 26 houses by 1739. These were located in a number of areas so in 1840 26 houses were erected at Balls Pond Road, in Islington. These were eventually sold in 1939 and the proceeds used to construct 10 houses and Matron's quarters in Crawley. A donation from the Moody Bequest enabled a further 16 in 1952 and in 1971 a further 4 were added in honour of the 500th Anniversary of our first Royal Charter. Since then, one house has been allocated to a Deputy Matron and one to a Common Room.
The properties are most popular with the residents who are close to shops and other amenities thus retaining their independence and dignity but always in close touch with medical help should it be necessary. There is also a continuing programme of upgrading to maintain modern practices - timber windows have been replaced with uPVC double-glazed and sealed units. All the houses were rewired in 2007 and a programme of replacing the heating systems was started in 2008 with eleven new boilers and associated radiators being installed that year. Further insulation work was also undertaken at the same time and recently the drainage system has been overhauled.
In the nature of things, residents move on to other accomodation when they can no longer cope with living on their own. New residents are welcomed from time to time and bring with them fresh interests and friendships. The community flourishes under the watchful eyes of the Gatekeeper, Warden and Deputy Warden, all of whom live at the centre.
The Almshouses are provided for people of good character and modest means. There is an application and interview process and a waiting list is maintained. Those wishing to be considered to become residents should apply to the Clerk of the Dyers' Company whose contact details are on the Homepage.