Whitehead Almshouses Tanworth-in-Arden

Tanworth Almshouses | Image courtesy of Anne Langley
Tanworth Almshouses
Image courtesy of Anne Langley
Tanworth plaque | Image courtesy of Anne Langley
Tanworth plaque
Image courtesy of Anne Langley

Two charming semi-detached homes stand in Bates Lane in Tanworth-in-Arden. They are 19th century almshouses founded in 1871.

The buildings

The buildings are of red brick with tile-hung gables and decorated bargeboards. A stone plaque on the front of one of them reads:

WHITEHEAD ALMSHOUSES Erected in Memory of JOHN WHITEHEAD ESQ of Barford in this COUNTY by his Grand daughters ANNE and SUSANNA LLOYD A.D. 1871.

A new building was added about 35 years ago so that the almshouse can now accommodate more people. An old cast-iron pump has been turned into a garden feature.

The residents

The almshouses were originally intended for four men or women over the age of 60 who had lived in Tanworth or Ullenhall for 10 years or more; labourers (or their widows) or spinsters, poor, of good character and not receiving poor relief. The rules stated that no almsperson was to be absent for more than 24 hours without permission in writing; they were not allowed to sublet rooms and sharing needed permission. They would be removed if sectioned or found to be guilty of insobriety, immoral or improper conduct. In 1881 there was one man and two women living in the almshouses including Mary Sparkes who was a retired laundress.


The County Record Office in Warwick cares for some material relating to this almshouse: parish correspondence from 1885;1 also a draft order of the Charity Commissioners from 1925.2


1 Warwickshire County Record Office reference DR 744/381-3 (1885)

2 Warwickshire County Record Office reference: CR 2044/34 (1925).