We welcome HRH the Duke of Gloucester to the almshouses and chapel

Date Posted : October 19th, 2023

     The City Of Wells Almshouses welcomes HRH the Duke of Gloucester


The Residents, staff and trustees were delighted to welcome His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester to the Bubwith site, its almshouses and chapel on Monday 16th October.

His Royal Highness, The Duke of Gloucester, is the Royal Vice Patron for The Almshouse Association, a membership charity that supports a network of over 1600 independent almshouse charities throughout the United Kingdom. Almshouse Association members manage more than 30,000 almshouses, providing vital housing solutions for approximately 36,000 individuals in need, contributing significantly to local community housing.


During his visit, His Royal Highness engaged with residents, staff, and trustees, and was given a guided tour of the medieval buildings, gardens, chapel and Guildroom by Chair of Trustees Stewart Cursley and resident trustee James Fane-Gladwin.


The Duke was particularly interested in the Bubwith chapel which was built in the 15th Century and is currently subject to an exciting project to restore it into a new community space in Wells, supported by National Lottery players.


Resident Mo Joyce welcomed him into her flat, where he enjoyed the view overlooking the walled garden. The visit culminated in a gathering in the Guildroom, where His Royal Highness joined residents for a piece of cake and some enjoyable conversation.


Many of The Duke’s Patronages are related to architecture and conservation, both areas in which The Duke remains deeply interested. He was elected a corporate member of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1972 and he is President of the Scottish Society of the Architect-Artists. His fellowships include those of the Institution of Structural Engineers and the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland.


His Royal Highness is a supporter of several architectural preservation societies, including the Kensington Society and the Victorian Society, as well as the International Council on Monuments and Sites, UK National Committee.


Chair of Trustees Stewart Cursley said, “It was an honour to meet His Royal Highness who was particularly interested in the chapel and its plans for the future, and we thank him for his kind visit.  I would also like to thank the staff and trustee members who organised the visit and the residents who attended on the day.”



Mr Nick Phillips, CEO of The Almshouse Association said, “It is such a great honour to welcome our Royal Vice Patron to one of our member charities. The Duke seemed genuinely impressed by the wonderful architecture that is the hallmark of the almshouse movement. Almshouses like the City of Wells carry centuries of great support for the community. The fact that they offer a wonderful place to live and remain a living heritage is a recognition of the many trustees who have overseen this marvellous charity.”

The Duke addresses residents & trustees and the Patron of the chapel project, Mrs Annie Maw. Photo: Richard Gray

The Duke talks with residents and trustees, with staff in the background. Photo: Richard Gray

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