Almshouses of Abingdon by Mortimer Menpes, R.I.. Watercolor. Source: The Thames, 37. Text and formatting by George P. Landow. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the University of Toronto and the Internet Archive and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite it in a print one.]

Christ's Hospital, as the almshouses are called, was founded in the reign of Edward VI. out of lands belonging to a dissolved Guild of the Holy Cross. The central hall dates, however, from 1400. It has a stone mullioned window and panelled walls; in the ceiling is a dome or cupola. Once a week eighty loaves of bread are here distributed among the poor people of the town, and when the loaves, with their crisp, flaky, yellow crust, stand in piles on the polished oak table, and the poor old people gather for their share, there is an old-world touch in the picture such as one does not often see nowadays. The cloister or arcade of dark wood outside is decorated with texts and proverbs on its inner wall. [40]

Related Material


Menpes, Mortimer, R.I., and G[eraldine]. E[dith]. Mitton. The Thames. London: A. & C. Black, 1906. Internet Archive version of a copy in the University of Toronto Library. Web. 18 April 2012.

18 April 2012