Bristol Charities continues to operate during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Although our Head Office is shut and most of our Head Office staff are working from home, you can contact us by email or by phone on our Head Office phone number 0117 930 0301. We continue to run our Almshouses and Extra Care scheme, with staff on site. Our Grants Programme is running, please keep checking our website for details of when we are accepting applications for Grants. Although our Community Development for Older People Projects remain on hold for now, we hope to start activities again soon when it is safe to do so.

Bristol Charities is committed to working to provide support to people and communities throughout these complicated and taxing times.

Dear Sir, Madam and all who do the magnificient work at Bristol Charities,

You recently donated £120 to my mother, who has a damaged spine and neck; making sleeping very painful.

I got a memory foam from Bristol Bed Maker with other funds to make up the shortfall. It is wonderful!!! Thank you so much it really makes a difference!


Bristol Charities
Mr G. B

History of Almshouses

Barstaple Almshouse (click here to apply)

The original Almshouse situated at the corner of Old Market Street and Midland Road had been in existence for over six hundred years. Although it had occupied the same site since its foundation in the fourteenth century, it had been rebuilt a number of times and the present building dates back to mid-Victorian times. 

The Almshouse founder was John Barstaple, a Bristol merchant who was bailiff in 1379, Sherriff in 1389 and Mayor in 1395, 1401 and 1405.

The building was listed  as Grade II* and it was accepted that due to the design and layout, it was unfit for occupation by frail, older people.There were significant problems with access for those with even minor mobility issues.

The property was sold in 2010 with Charity Commission agreement and the sales proceeds were reinvested in the development of a new Almshouse which would be designed to meet the needs of older people in the 21st Century.

Bristol Charities then acquired the site of the current Barstaple Almshouse on Lower Knole Lane, Brentry, Bristol, with the objective of constructing a new almshouse consisting of 31 flats and a day/resource centre on the ground floor of the scheme.  

John Foster's Almshouse (click here to apply)

John Foster was a merchant who had a major stake in the extensive impact of dried fish from Iceland. He founded the John Foster's Almshouse over 500 years ago. The Almshouse was originally located on the Christmas Steps, where it was demolished and rebuilt a number of times; the latest being the current Victorian building, which increasingly became unsuitable for the needs of older people. The almshouse was sold and all the proceeds have gone into the construction of the current, modern, purpose-built almshouse in Henbury. 

The Henbury site was purchased from the then Primary Care Trust and part of the building at Henbury on the ground floor accommodates a health clinic.


Perrett House and Redcross Mews

Perrett House in Redcross Street originally came about after CR Perrett set up a housing charity – Perrett Homes – in 1916 with property which he owned in Stanley Hill and Totterdown. After his death the charity was managed by Bristol Charities. It was not possible to maintain Perrett’s residential properties from the rental income and the properties were sold in the 1930s and most of the tenants transferred to Trinity Almshouse.

A former almshouse in Cumberland Road, which was bought and presented to the trustees, was used to house tenants from Perrett Homes and was renamed Perrett's Almshouse. It provided accommodation for five residents. Due to the cost of maintenance, the almshouse was closed and demolished in 1969.

The proceeds of the sale of Stanley Hill and Cumberland Road were incorporated into Orchard Homes and, with Housing Corporation funding, were used to build the sheltered housing scheme in Redcross Street, which is called Perrett House. A further eight flats were built in Redcross Lane in 1987 - this was called Redcross Mews and is situated to the rear of Perrett House. 

Please note that we are not currently taking any new applications for Perrett House and Redcross Mews.

William Jones's Almshouse (click here to apply)

William Jones was a local Monmouthshire man who made his fortune as a merchant in Stade, near Hamburg and then went on to found the Almshouse Charity at Monmouth, as well as Monmouth School. When William Jones founded the almshouse in his will of 1615, he decided to appoint The Haberdashers’ Company as trustee. This trusteeship has now been transferred to Bristol Charities with the Haberdashers' Company assuming the role of Patron. 

The previous almshouse in Monmouth, whilst under fifty years old, was clearly dated, being too small (bedsits) and unsuited to the needs of older people. The buildings had no particular architectural merit and would have been very difficult to upgrade to meet current standards. The new almshouse at Monmouth replaced the existing nineteen-bedsit almshouse that was built in 1961.


Pictured above: The original 1615 almshouses to the right of the school (left) and those rebuilt in 1842 (right).