Exploring Southwark and discovering its history
Hopton's Almshouses give a glimpse into life on Bankside over 250 years ago. Now dwarfed by Neo Bankside and the recently completed Tate Modern extension, they are a picturesque anomaly in 21st century Bankside, enhanced by the very pretty garden that can be glimpsed through the railings.
The almshouses were built in 1752 with money left for this purpose by Charles Hopton. His father was a wealthy City of London mercer who enrolled him as a member of the Fishmongers' Company in infancy. He owned lands in Christchurch though never lived in Southwark himself. 26 poor men were selected to live in the almshouses who also received £6 per annum, which increased to 21s 8d per month, together with a chaldron of coals. Though the men were allowed to marry, the rules were worded in such a way that their children would not become the responsibility of the parish. The cottages have been continuously occupied and after modernisation in 1988, and further renovation in 2013, 20 1-bedroomed units have been available for Southwark residents over 60 who have lived in the borough for at least three years. Hopton’s Almshouses are managed by the United St Saviour’s Charity, a long established charity that has its roots in the 16th century.