Braughing. Cross or Memorial Hall
There is some doubt as to whether or not this was actually an almshouse. Wittering cites that it was, adding it was built in 1893 (but as noted later it couldn’t have been used as such until 1905). He says it was a former memorial hall converted into almshouses by Herbert Shepherd-Cross MP in memory of his wife. Unfortunately his sources are not recorded.
Royston Crow reports the 1893 opening ceremony. It was erected in the name of the late Mrs Mary Shepherd-Cross, who died in 1891. Situated in Ford Street, it was 40ft by 20ft. There are a few later references to its use as a hall used for educational purposes. There is a reference to a replacement hall being built in The Causeway.
Victoria County History (pub 1912) does not refer to any almshouse provision. It does note that Herbert Shepherd-Cross built a hall in Ford Street which was later converted into cottages, building a replacement memorial hall in 1903. This is confirmed by High and Noakes who add the conversion to cottages took place in 1905, the dedication plaque being moved to the church.
A conversation with the tenants at Ford Street Farm next door said they did not think the building had ever been used as almshouses.
Unfortunately this cursory information is all that has so far come to light.
Ford Street, Braughing
OS 25” map Hertfordshire XIV.14 pub: 11897 annotates the building as the Memorial Hall. The 1921 edition does not annotate it.
Georef: 539335 224820
Grid ref: 51 54′ 17″N 0 01′ 27″E
The Victoria County History of the County of Hertford (4 vols). Ed William Page
(part of Victoria County History of the Counties of England Ed H Arthur Doubleday)
Issued Archibald Constable & Co. 1912. Reprint by Dawsons of Pall Mall 1971 ( ISBN 0 7129 0477 8)
This publication been digitised by British History Online (BHO) and is available online at https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/herts/vol3/pp306-317
No Washing Machines Then by V High & M Nokes, pub Braughing Local Hist Soc 2004
Newspapers. These articles can be viewed on-line via the British Newspaper Archive website
Herts & Cambs Reporter & Royston Crow 22 Dec 1893 p6 col 2. The opening of the memorial Hall.
The following articles note uses for the hall before 1905:
Herts & Cambs Reporter & Royston Crow Friday 20 July 1894 page: 5 col 3
Herts & Cambs Reporter & Royston Crow Friday 05 October 1894 page: 5 col 5
Herts & Cambs Reporter & Royston Crow Friday 17 May 1895 page: 8 col 4
Herts & Cambs Reporter & Royston Crow Friday 20 December 1895 page: 5 col 6
Herts & Cambs Reporter & Royston Crow Friday 27 November 1896 page: 8 Col 4
Herts & Cambs Reporter & Royston Crow Friday 08 January 1904 page: 8 col3. Opening of the new church room. Mr. H. Shepherd-Cross related the reasons that had induced him to erect the new building.