Crewkerne Almshouses

(The Matthew Chubb, Mary Davis and Others Almshouses Charity)

Why you may ask are details of a Crewkerne charity appearing on the Misterton Village Plan? The answer is simple- The Almshouses were set up for the residents of Crewkerne, West Crewkerne and Misterton. The Trustees are bound to give priority to these areas, firstly with current residents, followed by former residents and finally those with strong connections or family ties.

Residents are over the age of 55 – married or single, as the charity has four houses suitable for couples and four for single people. Being residents, not tenants, no rent is charged but a payment is required towards the maintenance of the buildings and water rates.

The Charity was founded in 1605 in Crewkerne, with accommodation in Court Barton. Another block was erected in West Street, to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Jubilee. Plaques on the walls give some detail and were recently renovated to make them easier to read.

The Charity is administered by eight Trustees- four nominated via Crewkerne Town Council (2), West Crewkerne Parish Council (1) and Misterton Parish Council (1). Four others with particular skills- builders, plumbers, electricians etc. Are co-opted. The Trustees, who serve for a minimum of four years and give their services at no cost to the Charity, are assisted by a Warden and a Clerk. It is a registered Charity, regulated by the Charity Commission.

The Trustees meet regularly and advertise vacancies when they occur and consider applications from prospective residents, which include home visits. The Warden and Clerk look after the day to day running of the complex, in liaison with the Chairman of the Trustees.

Further information on the Charity can be obtained from Tony Foot, who is the current Chairman and Misterton’s representative on the Board of Trustees.

The Owsley and Norris Charity

This charity was founded in 1625 (nearly 400 years ago) as the Owsley Charity, subsequently taking over from the Church, the bequest of the Rev. Norris in the last century. It is a registered Charity, regulated by the Charity Commission.

This is a Misterton based Charity, solely for the benefit of the Misterton Residents. Its primary aim is to support our older single people but help can be given to younger single people and occasionally families. A distribution is made every year, usually at Christmas time but grants have been made during the year, such as when help was given towards the travelling costs of a family whose baby was in Bristol Hospital, where they needed to visit daily.

The Charity’s income is not great- the bulk coming from the rent of some seventeen acres of land that is owned around the village, coupled with money from the Village Fete and donations. It was a condition of owning the land that a side of beef was given each year to the boys of Crewkerne Grammar School- thankfully this has fallen by the wayside.

The Charity is administered by four Trustees- two appointed by the Parish Council (Ken Prescott and Tony Foot), who serve for a minimum of four years- plus two co-opted Trustees with local knowledge (Pat Stuffins and Jan Wilson), who serve for a minimum of five years- to give continuity. An annual report is made to the Parish Council.

The Charity goes about their work quietly with regular meetings when local knowledge and requests from villagers are used to decide where help will be given.

Further information on the Charity can be obtained from any of the Trustees.