What Are Almshouses?

The term Almshouse dates back to Medieval times where religious orders gave charity to the poor and the sick. Not many people today realise that the Almshouse movement is now a vibrant community dotted all over the country, with many of the houses old and often beautiful historic buildings. Others are more modern and some are newly built, but what they all have in common is their provision of support for older people who find themselves in need of affordable accommodation. Residents are encouraged to live independently, make friends and to share a wider social life in an area they are familiar with or are close to friends and family.

If you would like to find out more you can visit
The Alms House Association of which Plymouth Charity Trust are members.

History of Heles Terrace Almshouses

The charity was originally founded in 1632 by Mr Elize Hele. The first stone of the almshouses was laid in 1895 and various blocks added in stages until the last was completed in 1931. The land in between the two blocks used to be a garden area until it was compulsory purchased in 1969 to allow road improvements to take place.

There are 60 one bedroom apartments which were renovated in 1998. The top floor has shared balconies and there are small, walled garden areas with benches for residents to enjoy the outdoors. Situated right across from a bus stop residents have the freedom to wander the city and neighbouring towns.

The History of Lanyon House Almshouses

The original Almshouse was built in 1679 with £300 left in a will by John Lanyon, ex Lord Mayor of Plymouth and a Friend of Samuel Pepys. The present almshouses were moved to their site in Green Street in 1868. The site was renovated in 1977 and is maintained by Plymouth City Council.

There are 15 studio apartments that vary in size but all offer residents comfort and refuge in the heart of the City. Some rooms still have baths, others have converted accessible showers. These amenities along with a communal laundry room and large courtyard garden gives residents the opportunity to continue living independently.

About Us

Providing safe and happy living in the heart of Plymouth.

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Meet our dedicated team of volunteers and Trustees who manage the daily running of the charity.

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