Bengeo. Deedes Memorial
Charles Deedes, the rector of Bengeo for 28 years (1848 – 1876), would have overseen the building of the new Holy Trinity church to replace the old church of St Leonards in 1855. Following his death a Miss Lloyd arranged for some almshouses to be built in his memory. They adjoined the parish almshouses. However, they are not mentioned separately from the parish almshouses in Victoria County History (which may have combined them with the Bengeo almshouses).
At the Vestry meeting of Aug 23 1877, ‘Mr Sheffield produced the plans of the proposed addition for two widow homes adjoin the present Building which was accepted unanimously, with thanks’.
The minute of Nov 28th 1877 notes they were completed in October 1877, the first two residents being Mrs Webster and Mrs Tipler. A vote of thanks was unanimously accorded to Miss Lloyd for erecting and handing over to the Parish, the Deedes memorial Alms Houses, which the rector promised to convey’.
While they adjoined and were linked administratively with the existing parish almshouses, they were kept separate as far as finances and repairs were concerned. The minutes books and the existing Bank book shows this ‘linked separation’. A note in the Bank book for 1877 notes, ‘The interest on this deposit of £20 is to accumulate for 5 years untouched. It may then be applied for repairs of the Deedes Memorial almshouse according as the rector & the churchwardens may from time to time consider needful. The repairs at one time are never to exceed the interest of this deposit which is to remain funded’.
It is likely that the Deedes part of the almshouses has been demolished. The 1842 Bengeo tithe map shows buildings parallel to the church, suggesting the building at right angles is the later Deedes building. Even so, the footprint of the combined properties survives in the shape of the plot.
The charity has since been amalgamated with the Bengeo Almshouses charity, ref 21309. Its aim is to provide accommodation in two small almshouse bungalows in Bengeo, for widows who at the time of application are resident in the ancient parish of Bengeo.
Georef: 532970 213660
Grid ref: 51o 48′ 22″N 0o 04′ 22″W
OS 25″ map XXIX.11 pub 1898
History of Hertfordshire, by John Edwin Cussans
Vol 2 Hertford Hundred pp 42-3 has the Deedes family tree going back to 1612
Originally published Stephen Austin & Sons 1870-81
Republished E P Publishing in collaboration with Hertfordshire County Library 1972
Hertford Through Time, by Ruffles, Purkis and Jeffery-Poulter
Pub Amberley Publishing 2011 ISBN 978 1 4456 0272 1
Documents stored at HALS
D/P17/25/4 Bundle of papers, including the 1877 Bank book (with some notes about the origin of the charity)
DP/17/8/6 are the Bengeo vestry minutes 1847-1994.
DSA4/16/1 and DSA4/16/2 are the Bengeo tithe award and map.
Photos stored at Hertford Museum
HETFM6037.425 Old cottages opposite St Leonard’s Church, Bengeo, 25th June 1941
Website accessed Jul 2019:
Charity Commission website.