The charming and unique Almshouse and Schoolroom consists of several buildings dating back to the seventeenth century. The schoolroom is largely unchanged and contains many original features and furnishings.
The Almshouse was founded by Lady Margaret Hungerford, née Halliday, who lived with her husband, Sir Edward Hungerford, in nearby Corsham House (now known as Corsham Court). During the English Civil War, Sir Edward commanded Oliver Cromwell's Wiltshire forces. Both the Hungerford and Halliday family Arms are placed above the main entrance to the building. Lady Margaret was left a wealthy widow after her husband's death. In 1668 she put her Puritan values into practice by building the Almshouses for a Master and six old people and, unusually in this period, a schoolroom for the education of 10 poor boys.
Though 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 complex is ooccasionally used for outside events – you could even chance upon a local choir enjoying the acoustics of the fine old building!