Inventory Site Record

William Atkinson and William Rainbird Almshouses (Haringey)

Brief Description

William Atkinson and William Rainbird Almshouses were founded here in 1868 and garden for 30 years from 1868-99, after which the houses were rented, Acquired by LB Haringey in 1965 they are now sheltered accommodation for the elderly.

Practical Information
Previous / Other name:
William Staines Almshouses
Site location:
39-51 Beaufoy Road
N17 8AY
What 3 Words:
Type of site:
Private Garden
Open to public?
Opening times:
private but partly visible from road
Special conditions:
Public transport:
Rail: White Hart Lane then bus. Bus: W3
Research updated:
Last minor changes:

Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.haringey.gov.uk

Full Site Description

Sir William Staines was Deputy of St Giles Church Cripplegate, Master of the Worshipful Company of Carpenters, member of the Goldsmiths' and Skinners' Companies, and Lord Mayor of the City of London in 1801. He set up his charity in 1789 and the Staines Almshouses were in Jacob's Well Barbican in the City of London until the land was purchased for the Metropolitan Railway. New almshouses were built in 1868 in Tottenham under the superintendence of Mr Woodthorp, architect to the Corporation of London. At that time there were a number of notable almshouses in Tottenham, most of which have since been demolished. At the official opening of the 'Cripplegate almshouses', the Vicar of Cripplegate exhorted inmates 'to use the quiet afforded them in their declining years to prepare for another world' and an account in the Weekly Herald of the opening on Saturday 4 July 1868 reported that each inmate was presented with a Bible, cake and glass of wine. However an unattributed letter in Bruce Castle Archives complained of the lack of visits to the inmates who were paid money by a beadle, with no committee to visit the poor and treat them. The site adjoins Tottenham Cemetery (q.v.) and there was an agreement that burials would not take place within a certain distance from the almshouses. There is no information about the almshouse garden except that accounts in 1881 show £12 paid to a gardener.

In 1891 Staines Charity became part of Cripplegate Foundation and no new pensioners were chosen. In 1899, after the last 3 inmates had been pensioned off, the property together with 15 new houses they had built, was leased out by the Trustees of the Foundation, until its acquisition in 1965 by LB Haringey. An 80-year lease from 29 September 1899 was issued in 1901 and purchased from Plan Apartments in 1978 but there is no information about the use of the building in the intervening years. C20th maps show the garden subdivided and divided into plots, allocated to each house.

The almshouses today are on three sides of a small rectangle at right angles to the street, and this courtyard contains the main garden area, which is sheltered and screened from view. The boundary with the road has modern traditional-style metal fencing with two entrance gates, and a brick archway into the quadrangle, under which there apparently were cellars. Another brick archway leads off the quadrangle into a side garden. A Victorian-style lamp column in the centre is probably original. A commemorative stone marks the opening of the almshouses. The grounds have grass, mature trees including 2 sycamores, shrubs and a small bed with pots and lavender is recently planted. What is visible from the road is effectively the back gardens consisting of paved paths and grass. Beaufoy Road has been substantially redeveloped and the almshouses were originally approached by an insignificant entry c.20 yards on the Church Road side of the stonemason's shop, little visible from Beaufoy Road.

Sources consulted:

Clive Berridge, Almshouses of London, 1987; Robert Pearce, The Charities of Cripplegate Ward, 1905.

LPGT Volunteer Research by Jenny Turner, 2005

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ334912 (533450,191100)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
LB Haringey
Site management:
Housing Assessments
Listed structures:
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:


Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:
In Conservation Area:
Conservation Area name:
Bruce Grove
Tree Preservation Order:
Nature Conservation Area:
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Other LA designation:

Please note the Inventory and its content are provided for your general information only and are subject to change. It is your responsibility to check the accuracy.