The Founder’s Day was celebrated on Saturday at Trinity Hospital, in Lynn Road, Castle Rising, with the residents dressed up in the famous cape and pointed hats worn since the almshouses were founded in the 17th century.
Henry Howard, Earl of Northampton, built the homes as a memorial to his grandfather Thomas, the 3rd Duke of Norfolk. Henry’s bequest established a charity which provided sheltered accommodation for 12 women from Castle Rising parish. The rooms for the “Sisters” were arranged around a courtyard. Each room contained a bedstead, chair and small stool-table. To be eligible for admission, the Sister was expected to be “of an honest life and conversation, religious, grave and discrete, able to read … a single woman, 56 years of age at least, no common beggar, harlot, scold, drunkard, haunter of taverns”. The Sisters had to attend chapel every day, attend St Lawrence Church every Sunday and Holy Day dressed in their distinctive black hats and blue (later red) livery gowns, and say prayers for the founder whose badge they wore.
Pictured on Saturday are, from left, Vicky Jackson, Heather Scott, and Anne Stanley, with Richard Waite, clerk to the trustees.