Community and History

Archbishop Holgate Hospital Trust


The Trust is committed to providing almshouses for older, (over 60 years.) vulnerable local people who are in need and local young people who need financial assistance in their education.

The Hospital provides 24 Almshouses in two parallel rows of 12 situated within 13 acres of wooded grounds.  They are unfurnished and were specially designed for the needs of elderly residents.  The aim is to provide convenient and manageable accommodation in a setting which allows residents to come and go as they please.  Almshouses provide security and fellowship, and residents are encouraged to share in the social and religious life of the community.  The Almshouses have an emergency call system in every cottage, which is connected to the Master’s and Porter’s Lodge. Residents pay their own Council Tax, electricity and telephone bills. Gas fired central heating is provided free of charge by the Trust. Residents also pay a Weekly Maintenance Contribution towards the running and upkeep of the Hospital.  The Clerk collects these contributions quarterly in advance.


The Charity is run in accordance with the scheme approved by the Charity Commission. The latest scheme under the Charites Act 1993 was sealed on 16th November 2005, with an amendment to the trusts under the Charities Act 2011 adopted on 1st November 2017.

The Charity is administered by 12 Trustees with the day-to-day administration being the responsibility of the Master and the Clerk to the Trustees.


Our Founder

Born in Hemsworth in 1481, Robert Holgate, who was Archbishop of York 1545 to 1553, decreed in his will of 1555 that Almshouses should be built to provide for needy persons over 60 years of age from the ancient parishes of Hemsworth, Felkirk, South Kirkby and  Wragby. The present Hospital was completed in 1859 in the Victorian Gothic style, and it is the third site used for this Hospital. The previous ones are believed to have been behind the parish church in Hemsworth and on Southmoor Road, Hemsworth.

Founder of hospital

Originally the endowment was for a master and ten poor men and ten poor women from the locality. The brothers and sisters wore gowns, were not permitted to frequent the ale-house, nor allowed out without permission later than half past nine in the summer or half past seven in the winter. A fine of twopence was levied for breaches. Being a common swearer, drunkard or brawler could lead to removal. The endowment, based on revenue from lands which Archbishop Holgate held, appeared in Holgate’s will dated, April 1555 and was carried into effect a year after he died in 1556. 


At the same time as the Almshouses were established a grammar school was also built. A school bearing his name remains in existence. This is Archbishop Holgate School, a Church of England Academy in York

The Trust continues to administer educational grants to individuals, schools and academies.


The Hospital Museum


Further information about our historical milestones, important Hospital artefacts and much more, can be found in the collection at the Archbishop Holgate Hospital  Museum which is cared for and curated by our resident Archivist.


Museum Suit

The Archbishop Holgate Hospital Museum in partnership with the Pontefract Historical Society and Wakefield City Archives are delighted to offer pre-booked tours to explore the history and architecture of the Hospital and visit our museum on the annual Heritage Open Days.