Nash's Almshouses

  • 1 Feb 2019
  • Worcester People and Places
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Off New Street are Nash's Almshouses, originally intended, like St. Oswald's and Berkeley's for the aged and to be known as Nash's Hospital. It still occupies the original site, and has given the name Nash's Passage to the narrow way by which it was approached. John Nash, in his will dated 1661, 'gave and devised to 16 trustees, property to be held in trust for pious and charitable uses' and with it was bought not only the land upon which the almshouses stand, but also five acres of land, the site of the Royal Infirmary. Further almshouses were built on part of that land, which were demolished several years ago at the site of the Cattle Market. The 25 old folk lived rent free, with a small pension, free coal and light, and had other benefits.

The New Street Hospital was not an altogether original foundation, for almshouses known as Throgmorton's had previously stood on the same site, and appeared to have been occupied chiefly, but not exclusively, by worn out soldiers. The site abutted on the City Walls, and after the sieges of the Civil War, it is conveivable that Throgmorton's almshouses became derelict, whilst the Civic exchequer, depleted by the fines of that war, was inadequate for their restoration, and Alderman Nash's endowment provided an opportune resource.

Nash's in New Street dates from the 16th century, and was probably built by John Nash's grandfather, for John was born there. It is likely that during the Royalists occupation of Worcester, Nash had fled the City, and that Dud Dudley, who wrote that when the war ended, his house in Worcester had been seized, and his wife turned out-of-doors, had occupied it. Dud further says that he produced shot for the garrison of Worcester, and when the restoration took place in 1963, the remains of a shot tower was found and destroyed.


At this present time of 2019, there are still 25 of Nash's Trust Almshouses in occupation!