If you are taking a stroll through the village, you will come across the Chawner Almshouses, located on the village square. Around 1850 the name Chawner was well known locally. It was Lydia Chawner, wife of local farmer Henry Chawner, who had the Almshouses built in 1860. They were designed by her brother-in-law, Thomas Fradgley a local architect who also designed the Town Hall in the nearby town of Uttoxeter and parts of Alton Towers, the once lavish seat of the Earl of Shrewsbury. After Mrs Chawner’s death, the Almshouses were left in the care of Frederick Chawner who lived in London, and for many years were kept in good repair by Mr Joseph Woolley on his behalf. On Frederick’s death, the Almshouses were transferred to a body of local Trustees, whose care they have been in ever since.
The Trust Deed specifies that the Almshouses should house men and women of the industrial classes, either born in Marchington or resident in it for at least ten years and who are ‘unable to maintain themselves by their own exertions’. This is now translated as ‘in need of low-cost housing’. The buildings are not endowed, and are let at low rents, known as ‘maintenance contributions’, which help to meet the costs of repairs and maintenance. They were modernised in 1957 and repaired extensively in 1976, thanks to the generosity of the local authority and individual bequests. Recent modernisation in the 1990’s has been achieved with the generous help of the Elkes Trust.
Today some of Marchington’s retired residents live in the Almshouses, and if you stroll past in the summer you will see a lovely display of summer planting.
The Almhouses are Grade II listed, and Dog & Partridge are proud to have hosted several fundraising events to make essential repairs to the existing metal windows and hardwood surrounds.
So if you are visiting for a drink or a bite to eat at the D&P, try and allow a few minutes to wander up to the Square and have a look at our the historic Almshouses.