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“Any questions? We’re here to help.”

Here at Archbishop Holgate Hospital in Hemsworth, we have provided affordable accommodation for local vulnerable people who are  60 years and older and in need for over 450 years.

What's on this week'?

All our events for our community are on our weekly Service and Community News Sheet which you can read here

What is an 'almshouse'?

At a time when there is a severe shortage of affordable rental accommodation, the role of almshouse charities is now more vital than ever. In some rural areas, almshouses are the only provider of accommodation for those in need. We are one such provider of ‘sheltered’ accommodation. Further information on Almshouses can be found on the Almshouse Association website

What type of hospital are you?

We are not a hospital as we understand it today. We do not provide any medical facilities or services. Our word ‘hospital’ comes from the Latin word ‘hospes’ which means both host and guest. The word reflects our Christian duty to shelter those in need and provide housing according to the wishes of Archbishop Holgate. Find out more on the history of Almshouses via the Almshouse Association

How would I qualify to live at Archbishop Holgate Hospital?

All the details about how you qualify to live in one of the Almshouse cottages can be found in our Community and History section of the website in the Living as a member page, How can I apply area or just complete a message to us via the Contact us page and we will be in touch.

Who can apply for an education grant?

There are a number of grants available for more information visit our Education and Grants page and click on the grant which best describes your need.

Where do I find your safeguarding information?

All our Safeguarding information can be found via this link on the Safeguarding information section on this website including our policy document.

Would I be able to bring a school or community group to visit the hospital?

Visits for schools and community groups are co-ordinated via the Master. You can contact him using the contact us form on our website.

Can I just visit Archbishop Holgate Hospital at any time?

Archbishop Holgate Hospital is not a visitor attraction it is a community which welcomes visitors at identified significant times in the year. Visits are co-ordinated via the Master. You can contact him using the contact us form on our website.

How easy is it to find you?

If you are coming to one of the Heritage Open Days or visiting a relative all our Location information is on our website via this link

 It also includes a ‘green travel’ option for public transport using the traveline

or  ‘Moovit ap’ 

and what3words app

When are the Heritage Open Days?

News and events information  including the Heritage Open Days you will find on the website and on our social media

Are you on Social Media?

Our Social Links can be found at the following links:


X (Twitter)


Where can I find information on your GDPR, Privacy and Cookies Policies?

These are available here

I’m looking for more on historic almshouses can you help?

More historic information on Almshouses can be found in this article and on the associated website:


A Guide to Managing Change – and extract

July 2023


A Historical overview


8: The history of almshouses stretches back to medieval times when religious orders

cared for the poor. Originally called hospitals, colleges or bede houses, in the sense of

hospitality and shelter, the oldest surviving almshouse foundation is thought to be the

Hospital of St Oswald in Worcester founded circa 990. It is believed that the then Bishop

of Worcester (St Oswald) created this sanctuary where the brothers could “minister to the sick, bury the dead, relieve the poor and give shelter to travellers who arrived after the city gates had closed at night”. 8 Provision for care of the poor by monastic houses – perhaps 800 such hospitals in all – became more diffuse, if not lapsing entirely in some places, at the dissolution of the monasteries towards the middle of the sixteenth century. Provision for the poor, including the elderly, then passed largely to parishes, though provision could be based on charities established by craft guilds, livery companies, the gentry and nobility, clergy, merchants and royalty, among others, in part through conscience but also perhaps with the possibility of securing their own salvation and even of self-advertisement.


9: The architectural expression of almshouses reflected that of other medieval

collegiate building types, such as schools, colleges, even country houses, with individual units set around shared facilities, particularly the hall and the chapel. This arrangement continued long after the end of medieval times because rooms arranged around courtyards, or as terraced cottages at a smaller scale, fitted both later purposes and the classical layout of axial groups. As such they simply developed stylistically to follow the trends of the time, though often inflected by local fashions, sometimes based on local craft traditions. It only changed markedly with the development of other models in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, of which the garden village, for instance, became a model for larger groups of almshouses at the end of the nineteenth century. The post-war almshouse, meanwhile, reflects changes in housing and welfare provision under the welfare state, along with changes in needs for comfort, accessibility and privacy. This led to the development of lift-accessible multi-storey blocks with more fully fitted kitchens and bathrooms.


10: Historic almshouses can therefore be small and vernacular in character or larger

and more architectural; they can be simple in design or inventive and even eccentric on

occasion. Almshouses can be street buildings or, in larger examples, can be more inward-looking, arranged around courtyards, and they sometimes have communal rooms, particularly dining halls or chapels. They can be related to parish churches or within cathedral closes, and they sometimes have chapels where their foundation has a religious purpose. A garden for the use of the residents may sometimes be provided.


11:  The resulting buildings are often very attractive and this, accompanied by the

undeniable historic interest of such medieval and post-medieval provision for the poor, has led to their listing at a high rate and often a high grade. Their continuing popularity in use proves their continuing need but the changing nature of old age and higher living

standards – residents will usually have left a home of a more contemporary standard of

comfort – means that what might have been appropriate for the housing provision of an

elderly beneficiary in the eighteenth or nineteenth centuries may no longer be sufficient today.