I have passed Scott’s almshouses many times on my way to Hunslet shopping centre, to my local pub and way back as a child (over 55 years ago) going from Belle Isle where I lived, to my school, Hunslet Carr Primary School. All this time these have remained a mystery to me.
I’ve wondered all these times, who these almshouses are for? Almshouses are sometimes for poor people. Money was sometimes left in a rich person’s will for this type of building to be built.
I once did some work there about 20 years ago, when I cleaned upholstery and a carpet for an elderly gentlemen there. There where plenty of photos of when he was in the forces. Are these what these almshouses are for? Maybe when people leave the forces or retired gentlemen from the forces? I noticed when I was there that the window frames were in a bad state of repair, they are worse now. Who looks after the upkeep of these houses?
Perhaps someone can give me more info?
I’ve listed what little information about these alms-houses I could find from the internet below:
- Scott’s almshouses on Middleton Road are Listed Buildings. John Scott of Hunslet Road left £10,000 for the erection of 10 alms houses.
- They are built in a quadrangle with a marble bust of the donor in the centre.
- They were designed by architect John E.Leak and completed in 1898.
- This is a small square of houses near the cemetery on the east side of Middleton Road, Hunslet, Leeds.
- A large plaque on the gable end of the north group states “Erected and endowed by John Scott Esq. A.D. 1896” and a similar plaque on the south gable “Trustees Samuel Scott Stanley, Joseph Gale, George Mellen, Revd Canon Thompson, Robert E Emsley. John E Leak Architect”.
- Leeds City Council’s “Listed Building Gazeteer”, shows that they are Grade 2 listed buildings. The bust in the centre is of John Scott and is also Grade 2 listed.
This article was written by Kenneth Ingram using our Community Reporters website
8 Replies to “The mystery of the almshouses on Middleton Road, Hunslet”
An interesting mystery, it was somewhere around there that my father used to speak of a little publicised visit by Laurel & Hardy during one of their theatre tours. Stan Laurel had a family member or friend living round that way and they popped in on him, my father saw them walking down the street with quite a crowd round them, often wondered who they were seeing and where…
Laurel & Hardy did a British tour in 1932, when Stan Laurel met up with his relatives here. It does not say on the internet where he met up with them. They wrote a book about their tour. If you Google Laurel & Hardy, you will come up with details of the book.
I would love to know myself. I’ve always found them a tad creepy. I’ve asked on the Leeds back in the day facebook group. somebody on there is bound to know.
Stopped a guy going into the Almshouses. He told me they were originally for Injured Soldiers coming out of the 1st World War.
Now it seems any elderly person can live there (not many left from World War 1). The Almshouses are now kept in order by a charity. Whether anyone pays rent I do not know.
As I said earlier something needs to be done, at least with the rotting window frames. I will try and find out more.
If they were built in 1896 they were not built for soldiers returning from the first world war. Some were built for widows only and some for couples in old age. There was often a set of ‘rules’ laid down by the endower for living in these alms houses.
I can only go by what a visitor told me on entering the Alms houses. Will look into more when I get the time.
If you read the history of Hunslet cemetery I do believe you will find some information regarding the almhouses. I’m one of the admin for Friends and Relatives of Hunslet Cemetery and upon reading history I’m pretty certain somewhere along the line the almhouses come up…
Scott’s almshouses on Middleton Road are Listed Buildings. John Scott of Hunslet Road left £10,000 for the erection of 10 almshouses. They are built in a quadrangle with a marble bust of the donor in the centre. They were designed by architect John E.Leak and completed in 1898. (photos 2009)
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