Monken Hadley. Pagitt's

Colin Wilson

Pagitt's almshouse from the front. Jan 2017
Colin Wilson
Pagitt's almshouse; the end nearer the church. Jan 2017
Colin Wilson
Pagitt's almshouse. The extension at the end away from the church. Jan 2017
Colin Wilson
The plaque near the door commemorating the tercentenary of the charity in 1978. Jan 2017
Colin Wilson

The Justinian Pagitt who instituted this almshouse does not seem to be as well known as his father, also named Justinian. His father was a lawyer and diarist who met Samuel Pepys, married Dorcas Wilcox and died in 1668. London Environs shows they had a son, James, but does not mention other children. However the Ancestry website records Justinian as his son. Justinian (jnr)’s will names his wife Antonina, and there is a reference to his brother. He died in about 1681. An alternative spelling is Paget.

A red brick ‘vicarage house’ was leased in 1573, but became the property of lay people only 50 years later. In 1678 Justinian conveyed the building, now known as the rectory house, for the use of the incumbent, the parish clerk and some almspeople. It was enlarged in 1788 by adding two almshouses, rebuilt in 1822/4 and further enlarged in 1846. The style was gothic with flint facing.

The building was locally listed as being of interest, then listed grade II status by Historic England in 1981. The upgrade may be because the buildings were at risk.

As with the nearby Wilbraham almshouses there were issues about paying rates and various gifts. Reference should be made to that article as it seems the two establishments were closely linked by around 1900. Interestingly, the Historic England website cites the same address for both.

It was in 1883 that the George and Mary Ann Pooley Endowment Fund was set up. It consisted of £2500 to be invested, the income to be shared among the residents. In 1958 the house became part of the endowment of the Pagitt ecclesiastical charity.

The charitable objects were ‘provision and maintenance of almshouses for poor women of good character who have resided in the parish of Monken Hadley or in the parish of Hadley for not less than two years next preceding the time of appointment or who have resided in either of the parishes for a period of not less than ten years consecutively. (Preference to those resident in the ancient parish of Monken Hadley)’.

An article from 1904 reports on the case of George Smith. He had been brought up in a Barnardo’s home, but escaped and spent two years in a truant school. Summonsed to court on a charge of stealing some money, he was detained in the workhouse, but escaped. Eventually he appeared before the magistrate and was sentenced to 4 years at the Bengeo Reformatory. The interesting aspect is that he was only 14 years old, but the report describes him as being from Paget’s almshouse.

The Pagitt Almshouse Charity ref 216461 was governed by a scheme dated 1958 and varied in 1968 and 1971. It was removed in 1999 due to amalgamation. The almshouses were taken over by Jesus Hospital Charity in Chipping Barnet in 1985, and are still in use. Readers are referred to the article for further information.


Georef:      525015 197384
Grid ref:    51o 39′ 41″N   0o 11′ 39″W


Any websites accessed Oct 2020.

A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 5, Hendon, Kingsbury, Great Stanmore, Little Stanmore, Edmonton Enfield, Monken Hadley, South Mimms, Tottenham.
Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1976.
This volume can be viewed on-line at

The Environs of London: Volume 3, County of Middlesex.
Originally published by T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1795.
This article can be viewed on-line at

Barnet & Hadley Almshouses, by W H Gelder
pp 24-3-
Barnet Press Group 1979 notes the buildings had been listed

Justinian Pagitt’s will (died 1682) can be viewed at

Charity Commission ref 216461

Newspaper articles can be viewed on the British Newspaper Archive website

Barnet Press Saturday 19 May 1883 page 5 col 3.

Barnet Press Saturday 09 July 1904 page 5 col 2 and Barnet Press Saturday 16 July 1904 page 6 col 2 report the George Smith incident.

Barnet Press Saturday 24 December 1904 page 8 col 3. Death of Mrs. Kennedy age 86.

Barnet Press Saturday 05 June 1897 page 5 col 5.  5s given to women in Paget’s rooms, among others, for Jubilee celebrations.

This page was added on 20/10/2020.

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