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The Chester Bluecoat Charity provides comfortable and secure almshouse accommodation in the city centre for local people in need aged over 60.

Situated in Bluecoat Square, off Upper Northgate Street, our small estate of 16 one bedroom homes is set around a courtyard at the back of The Bluecoat, a tranquil hidden gem right in the heart of Chester.

History of our

Our almshouses have been providing homes for people of limited means since the 18th century.

The properties still in use today date from 1854, when they replaced earlier accommodation, which is detailed below.

Since then, the homes have been improved and modernised, but their purpose remains the same: to provide housing for people in need, hardship or distress, and resident in or with a strong connection to Chester.

Timeline of the almshouses

Early 1600s: timber framed Almshouses with 2 rooms and a garden are built for 6 poor widows behind the Bluecoat hospital and chapel.

1644: Siege of Chester – Loyalist Cestrians destroy the timer hospital, chapel and almshouses in order to prevent parliamentary forces using it. Colonel Whitley rebuilt hospital and chapel in 1660.

1715: 6 Almshouses rebuilt

1836: The charity housed six freemen’s widows, who each received 6s. 8d. a quarter. There were no funds for repairs to the buildings, which eventually became unfit for use, and vacancies among the six places had to be left unfilled.

1872: Almshouses were demolished rebuilt to house 13 residents, which are the current existing numbers 1 – 13, with 5A being a wash house at this time.

World War Two: Almshouse residents used the Bluecoat cellars used as air raid shelters

2004: Old wash house redeveloped as additional Almshouse, 5A

2005/06: Almshouse (No 14) built

2012: Final Almshouse built (No1A) enclosing courtyard.


How to apply

To apply for our almshouse accommodation, you will ideally be aged 60-plus, and you must have strong Chester connections, limited financial means and be capable of living independently.

Keep an eye on our website for vacancies or call us on 01244 345787 to find out more about applying or to join our waiting list.