Almshouse and Schoolroom is a charming and unique site comprising of several
buildings dating back to the seventeenth century. The schoolroom is largely
unchanged and contains many original features and furnishings.
Almshouse was founded by Lady Margaret Hungerford, who lived with her husband
Sir Edward Hungerford in nearby Corsham House (now known as Corsham Court). Sir
Edward commanded Oliver Cromwell's Wiltshire forces during the English Civil
War. The Hungerford family Arms still hang above the main entrance to the
building, although are somewhat dwarfed by the Halliday Arms belonging to Lady
Margaret’s family . Lady Margaret was widowed and childless when she built the
Almshouse and Schoolroom in 1668. Ever mindful of Puritan conduct she wrote 45
ordinances for her beneficiaries to live by.
steeped in the 17th century the complex is very much alive today. Trustees
continue to manage the property whilst volunteer guides welcome visitors from
all over the world. Beneficiaries still live in the original six almshouses and
a conversion to the stable block has created four further dwellings. The
schoolroom and grounds are occasionally used for outside events – you could
even chance upon a local choir enjoying the acoustics of the fine old building!