The almshouses in Malthouse Lane, No.1 Russett Cottage and No.2 Bramley Cottage, have been in their present site in the village for over one hundred years. They replaced earlier dwellings above the footpath sometimes known as “100 Guinea Lane” leading from Rock Hill Lane to Woodlands Road. These earlier almshouses are thought to have been in existence since the 17th century but by the early 1900s they had become dilapidated and were finally condemned as unfit for human habitation.
The building of the almshouses in their present site in Malthouse Lane came from village donations and the generosity of 2 benefactors, Mr John Borrowman, and Mary Bonham Carter. They cost £345 and were completed in 1907. The first occupants at No.1 were Mr Job Godchild, “agricultural labourer”, and his wife and at No.2 Miss Elizabeth Trigg, “spinster”. The almshouses have been in continuous occupation ever since.
The almshouses consist of 2 self-contained units which were substantially extended and modernised in 2 stages – No.2 in 2014/15 and No.1 in 2016. The works, which cost £220K in all, were funded largely by individual village donations with contributions from charitable trusts, the Parish Council and the Hambledon Community Fund. The final tranche of financing was a loan from the CAF Bank, now fully repaid. The instigator of this modernisation was Miss Audrey Monk, a Trustee with a long-standing interest in the almshouses and author of “The Story of the Hambledon (Surrey) Almshouses” published by The Hambledon Heritage Society in 2008.
The almshouses are owned and managed by the Trustees of the Hambledon (Surrey) Almshouses, a registered charity (No.201850). The present constitution dates from 1907. The Trustees include ex officios (the Chair of the Parish Council and the Rector and Assistant Vicar of Hambledon) together with Representative Trustees nominated by the Parochial Church Council and the Parish Council plus 3 co-opted Trustees.
Any vacancy in the almshouses (both currently occupied) is advertised as and when it arises. The qualifying criteria for occupation are, in the language of the 1907 constitution, to be “poor, aged or infirm”, and to have lived in the Parish of Hambledon at any time for at least 2 years.
The current Chair of the Trustees is Andy Falk (tel 01428 683 863. email@example.com. ) to whom all enquiries should be addressed.