Outside body

Harman Atwood Charity


Brief History: In 1673 Harman Atwood, Lord of the Manor of Sanderstead, Warlingham and Chelsham built the Almshouses for four deserving poor and a house for the Curate. The Curate later moved into the Vicarage and the house was then used as the Village school.

The attached building, which is now known as the Mission Room, was built in the early 1830’s and became the Village school until 1874 when the new Board School was opened on the corner of School Common. The Mission Room then became a laundry until 1878 when the laundry was dismantled and the Room refurbished for church services whilst All Saints’ Church was extensively repaired.

In 1903 it became used as a small lending library until 1954 when the new County Library was built on the corner of Shelton Avenue. Since then it has been used as a community facility and meeting place for many local organisations.

In 1958 two bathroom and toilet additions were built onto the Almshouses, upgrading the previous one outdoor communal toilet facility.

In 1989 the Trustees, mindful that the Almshouses did not meet with current standards of comfort and facilities, appointed an architect to prepare a scheme of refurbishment and new build. After considerable discussion, listed building planning consent was granted to convert the existing four Almshouses into two self- contained units and to build two new almshouses. At the same time the Curate’s House, now known as Atwood Cottage and home to the Warden, was refurbished as was the Mission Room.

In 2000 The Almshouses was awarded the Millennium Marque for environmental excellence; given in recognition of a successful modernisation and new building project undertaken by Harman Atwood Charities.