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Henry Boys Almshouses

A Grade II Listed Building in St Matthew's, Walsall

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Latitude: 52.5789 / 52°34'44"N

Longitude: -1.9867 / 1°59'12"W

OS Eastings: 400994

OS Northings: 297898

OS Grid: SP009978

Mapcode National: GBR 2D4.6F

Mapcode Global: WHBG1.GF4S

Entry Name: Henry Boys Almshouses

Listing Date: 27 May 2005

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1392786

English Heritage Legacy ID: 491898

Location: Walsall, WS1

County: Walsall

Electoral Ward/Division: St Matthew's

Built-Up Area: Walsall

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Midlands

Church of England Parish: Walsall St Matthew

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield

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Listing Text


1690/0/10051 WEDNESBURY ROAD
27-MAY-05 Henry Boys Almshouses

Group of 12 almshouses arranged around a 3-sided courtyard. 1887. F.E.F.Bailey. Red Flemish bond brick with painted and terracotta dressings and a plain tile and fishscale-tiled roof with decorative ridge tiles and finials. "Queen Anne" style. Single-storey; each house has 4 rooms opening off a central corridor and a rear wing containing a lavatory and coal-store. This latter was converted into a bathroom in 1976. All of the houses open from the courtyard front, or from each of the wings. Each house has 3 bays with a central 4-panel door with upper glazed panel having stained-glass quarries. These have segmental heads and keystones. To one side of each door are 2 paired windows with keystones and to the other side is a square bay window with triple light window and a hipped roof. The distribution of these elements [to right or left of the doorway] alternates according to the symmetrical arrangement of the whole. At the centre is a gable above two joined square bay windows with an armigerous overthrow to the apex with supporters above a rectangular panel which reads; "THESE ALMSHOUSES / WERE ERECTED AND ENDOWED BY / HENRY BOYS / A.D.1886". At either side of this centrepiece and in the projecting wings are set the 12 almshouses and the pattern is uniform except to the 2 ends of the projecting wings which each have a central door of the established pattern with an open pedimental surround, supported on brackets. At either side are projecting square bays with 3-light windows which are crowned by gables which have a cartouche at centre which bears the entwined initials H and B.
Interior: Each house has a central passage with a tiled floor and some retain the fitted cupboards to the side ot the hearth in the living room and the cast iron hearths. The former lavatories and coal stores to the rear wings were all converted in 1976 to provide bathrooms and much of the rear fenestration was altered and replaced at that time and since.
History: The Victoria County History for Staffordshire records "By deed of 1887 Henry Boys, a Walsall brick manufacturer, settled in trust twelve alms houses on the corner of Wednesbury Road and Tasker Street with an endowment of £4,000. There were to be 24 inmates, aged over sixty, sober, and industrious; each house was to be occupied by a married couple or by two single persons of the same sex. No clergyman of any sect was to be a trustee. By his will, proved in 1894, Boys left a further endowment of £4,000."
This group of almshouses is designed by a notable local architect, F.E.F.Bailey, and survives in a largely-original and complete condition. Its luxurious use of brick and terracotta decoration served as an advertisement for Henry Boys stock in trade and it's retention of fragile elements such as finials and ridge tiles and a complete set of original front doors is remarkable.
Source: Victoria County History, Staffordshire, Vol. XVII, p.268.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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