Ware Harrison

Colin Wilson

Harrison's almshouse, Ware. Jan 2017
Colin Wilson
Dedication stone on Harrison almshouse, Ware. Jan 2017
Colin Wilson
Datestone on Harrison almshouse, Ware. Jan 2017
Colin Wilson
Porches on Harrison almshouses, Ware. Jan 2017
Colin Wilson
OS 25" map Hertfordshire XXIX.8 1923 showing the Ware almshouses
Courtesy of Hertfordshire Archives & Local Studies

2021 saw the sale of the Harrison almshouses, and with it the end of Ware Charities almshouse provision in Ware. An effect of this was that the Ware Charities scheme may need revision as it included almshouse provision as well as providing for the poor.

Frederick Harrison was a local businessman. He left funds on his death in 1907 for the benefit of the poor. By 1909 the Ware trustees had built an almshouse for two married couples. This was in Bell Close, along Park Road. The word ‘close’ does not refer to a road name, but an area of enclosed land which had been owned by the Ware Charities since 1612.

Copies of the tenancy agreements are held at HALS. The lower age limit for beneficiaries was 55 years, but this only had to apply to one of them. They had to have lived in Ware for 2 years prior to admission. Benefits provided were a pension of between 7s 6d and 10s a week. The trustees had some powers to alter these payments, an important right as the cost of living changes. This was granted on a 3 year cycle, renewable for periods of 3 years.  Some had independent means. In this case the benefit could be reduced provided they had an income of at least 7s 6d a week. A clause in the scheme provided that almspeople who received poor relief (except for medical help) would have to forego the pension or leave the almshouses, depending on which scheme is consulted.  For the year ended 31 March 1911 £23 5s. was paid in stipends in respect of the Harrison bequest.  The remaining income of the charities was directed to be applied in the payment of pensions of not less than 5s. weekly and for the general benefit of the poor, subject to the continuance for ten years after the date of the scheme of certain accustomed payments which have been made for a period of at least three years next before the date of the scheme.

In 1907 a scheme for the Combined Charities was approved by Charity Commissioners. The existing Ware Charity trustees & those administering the Harrison bequest were co-opted as trustees of the new scheme for first 2 years of its existence until new rules came into force. The combined charities were regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners dated 26 January 1909The charity was removed in 1996.

By Sept 2019 the properties were empty. One of the residents had died, the other was unwell. It would cost over £100,000 to repair and refurbish them, so in early 2021 the decision was made to sell them off. This was effected by December 2021.

Readers are referred to the article about Ware Crib Street.


45/47 Park Lane, Ware
Georef:    535326 214575
Grid ref:   51o 48′ 49″N  0o 02′ 18″W
OS 25” map XXIX.8 1923


The Victoria County History of the County of Hertford, Ed William Page
Vol 3  page 396
Issued Archibald Constable & Co. 1912. Reprint by Dawsons of Pall Mall 1971  ISBN 0 7129 0477 8
This publication is available online atVCH p396 http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/herts/vol3/pp380-397

600 Years of Charity, by David Perman
Pages 24/5
Pub Rockingham Press for Ware Museum 1991ISBN 0 9517045 6

Documents held at HALS

DE/We/4/12 Date: 1910 – 1932.  Tenancy agreements, Harrison Almshouses, Park Road

Websites accessed Dec 2023


http://beta.charitycommission.gov.uk/charity-details/?regid=225443&subid=3 This charity was removed from the register on 08 Mar 1996.

This page was added on 23/12/2023.

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