Hall`s Almshouses

extract from Rev. W.H. Jones`s History of Bradford on Avon:
These Alms-houses were founded by John Hall, Esq., at the commencement of the last century. The date in front of the buildings is A.D. 1700. [The projection of the eaves, and, shield, bearing the arms of Hall, in the centre of the facade make this a very effective building. The coronetted K and on the chimneys, with allusion to the Dukes of Kingston and Earls Manvers, shew that these were repaired or rebuilt at the extinction of the male line of Hall. But the building and the Charity owe much to the late Mr. Horatio Moulton,who thoroughly repaired the houses, put on a new roof, and gave £1050 as an endowment.'] During his life-time Mr.Hall seems to have himself provided for the inmates, and by "will, dated 10th Sept. 1708, he charged a portion of his estate with the annual payment of £40, for the support of the four persons who from time to time, might be appointed to Alms-houses.
The Charity Commissioners give the following account the steps taken by the Duke of Kingston, the descendant the Founder of this Charity, and the inheritor of his estates carry into effect his wishes respecting it.
"By a deed, dated 25th July, 1735, in which it is first of all recited that John Hall of Bradford, by his will dated as above, desired certain Truste therein named, to settle £40 clear of all taxes, to be yearly, for ever charged upon his farm called Paxcroft, for the maintenance of four poor men in the Alms-house, which he had then lately founded at Bradford for whom such gowns should be provided as, and as often, as his Trustees should appoint, out of the said yearly sum; and after such gowns provided and the said Alms-house from time to time repaired, the residue of the said £40 should be equally divided between the four Almsmen, and paid unto them monthly;-it is witnessed, that, Evelyn, Duke of Kingston conveyed to certain Trustees the capital messuage or mansion house of Paxcroft, and the closes or parcels of land therein particularly described lying in the parish of Steeple Ashton, to the use, intent, and purpose, that the said Trustees therein named, and their heirs, should for ever pay the annual sum of £40, according to the will of the said John Hall, free of all deduction, to be paid equally at Lady-day and Michaelmas, with power to distrain, in case the rent charge should be in arrear 21 days, and in case of need, of re-entry. The deed further provides that the government, regulation and management of the Alms-house should at all times hereafter be vested in, and the poor men be placed in the Alms-house, from time to time, as any vacancy should happen, by the owner of the capital Messuage or Mansion House, late of the said John Hall, in or near Bradford aforesaid, for the time being, for ever. It is provided further, that when the trustees are by death reduced to five, the survivors or majority of them should choose other persons of good repute, residing in the county of Wilts, whereof the Vicar of Bradford to be always one, to act along with them in the trusts.
" The property, subject to the rent charge of £40, now belongs to Earl Manvers, and consists of a farm of about 100 acres, a small part of which is in the parish of Steeple Ashton, and the remainder in the parishes of Semington and Hilperton, in the county of Wilts. The £40 has been regularly paid out of the rent for the benefit of the Charity."
The Alms-houses are in good repair. They consist of four tenements, each containing a room below, and a room above, with a small garden at the back, divided into four plots. There are four poor men in the Alms-houses : each of them receives a weekly allowance: each man also receives a co" every two years, and a pair of shoes yearly, [and has a badge bearing the three battkaxes, the arms of the founder. Charity Commissioners, in 1901, stated that they received two coats yearly, a summer and a winter one;also that they received medical attendance and funeral
The right of patronage and nomination of and -"to "the Almshouse, was specially reserved to Lord Manvers when he disposed of the Mansion House, (in 1802,) in the owner hereof, for the time being, the government and management * the 'Alms-house had been previously vested, in strict Accordanoe with the Founder's will. Since that time, the Alms-men have been usually nominated by the agent of Lord
After providing for the repairs of the Alms-house, and clothing as directed in the deed above stated, the whole of the surplus of the £40 [and of the £31 10s. accruing from Mr. Moulton's gift] is paid to the Alms-people.