Thaxted Almshouses

Visitors approaching the church from the west cannot help seeing two single-storey buildings situated in the churchyard. Both were once almshouses and they make a pleasant frame for the windmill beyond.

The long low thatched building, still known as the Chantry, was built as a Priest's House and later became an almshouse providing four dwellings under one roof. At some time during the 17th and 18th century, the administration of this building passed to the Manor of Horham, but by the 1920s its condition had deteriorated so much that it was unsuitable for its original purpose. The Rev. Conrad Noel, the Vicar at that time, then purchased it and turned it into a single dwelling now belonging to the church.

The adjacent tiled almshouse building, built around 1714 probably on the site of an earlier chantry house, used to comprise eight tenements under one roof, and in 1830 was occupied by sixteen aged persons: "13 widows, a man, a wife and a maid". The building was maintained partly by the parish and partly from church funds.

Under the administration of Hunt's Charity, these almshouses were in good use for 160 years, and in 1975, European Architectural Heritage Year, they were renovated to provide accommodation for three elderly couples. The Trustees, the Architect and the Builder were each awarded a Heritage Year Certificate of Merit for this undertaking.

Further historical details of the Almshouses are available in the church.