A number of my walks have featured almshouses. A list with a little information on each is on the next page.
There is a great variety from the humble Ingram's to the grand Chelsea Hospital. Sometimes provided for a particular category of person many still serve as almshouses whilst others have become private houses. The former Ironmongers now houses the Geffrye Museum but one house has been restored with rooms as they would have been in the 18th and 19th centuries and displays relating to the almspeople. [webpage]
They are sometimes titled colleges or hospitals. Some are arranged in rows and in the case of Sermons or Strand-on-the-Green at right angles to the road, probably a cheaper option. Others like Hoptons form three sides of a square with a central garden and often a chapel building whilst larger establishments such as Morden College are more complex.
Foundations date from 1527 but often the premises have been rebuilt and internally modernised.
Most almshouses can be viewed externally but please repect the resident's privacy. Almshouses are sometimes open for London Open House (September) or Open Squares Weekend (June). It is sometimes possible for group visits to be arranged. Services in the chapels may be open to the public.
Suggested reading: The Almshouses of London by Clive Berridge