Accommodation

In its first, 1752 manifestation the building comprised six very basic units of accommodation ( in architectural terminology, hovels) – a ground floor sitting room and a first floor bedroom – with some equally basic shared facilities. Water for use by the residents was drawn from a well, now capped. Over the following two hundred and thirty years ‘modernisation’ took place slowly; running water was installed with communal sinks and toilets. The building was Listed Grade II by English Heritage (now Historic England), for its interior and exterior features of historic architectural interest on 26 August 1965 ref: 1108965. In consequence, any modifications to the building and its setting are subject to national regulation. Following a period of decline, in 1983 the six units were reduced to four, being modernised and enlarged at considerable expense into the current, comfortable accommodation. Each comprises a large sitting room (also used for dining), a large bedroom, an equipped kitchen and a bathroom with toilet. A communal entrance hall provides access to two flats on the ground floor, with a staircase to two on the first floor. Each flat is of the same physical size and layout. The following images of the interior decor of one unit will be different to others due to the personal taste of the immediately previous resident. Not all units will have the same legacy.

Also in 1983 an equipped laundry was added for shared use. The small, planted garden plots in front of the building and the larger rear walled garden with patio area, are provided for residents to use and maintain. Recorded history shows that eighty seven people have lived in the Almhouse since 1837. And, with a further period of eighty five years for which period no records have been discovered (1752 to 1837) many more people will have benefitted from the generous legacy of Margaret and Mary Pole and the other benefactors.

Following the 1983 remodeling, the building was named Chandos Pole House to commemorate one of its most long-serving trustees, Major J. W. Chandos-Pole, during a period of over forty years. From available records he was just one of eighty identified trustees who have given their time and expertise to the charity. But with gaps in recovered records amounting to eighty-seven years, many more trustees will have made their valued contribution. Over a nineteen year period since 2000, the trustees have authorised more than £53,000 worth of maintenance and renewal as need and as updated regulations have required.

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