Introduction

Welcome to Rolleston Alms House Charity

960_header

The Almshouses 100 years ago, taken from a village postcard, posted in 1910. It shows saplings of the two, now mature and dominant, copper beech trees planted on the lawn by Sir Oswald Mosley in 1902 to commemorate the Coronation of King Edward VII.

The almshouses are administered under the terms of “The Charity of William Roulston and Others in the Parishes of Rolleston and Anslow in the County of Staffordshire”, commonly called “Rolleston Almshouse Charity”.

As with other early village charities, the original area of benefit was the ancient ecclesiastical parish of Rolleston which included Rolleston, Anslow, parts of Tatenhill and certain rights in the Forest of Needwood. Although these elements separated, administratively, in the 19th Century we continue to operate the Charity in the same catchment area today. This is reflected in the composition of the trustees; two from Rolleston Parish Council, one from Anslow Parish Council, one from East Staffordshire Borough Council (formerly Tutbury Rural District Council) and six co-optative.

Descendants of the Rollestons are now spread world-wide and the village receives international visitors in search of their heritage on a regular basis. Today, representing the family and contributing to this event, we have Mr Ken Rolston. Ken is a recognised researcher and authority on the history of all branches of the family.

The actions of village benefactors, over the centuries, have had a major influence on the shape of the village that we see today. The combination of the Old Grammar School, St Mary’s Church, Spread Eagle Inn and Almshouses along the Alderbrook, together with the more recently acquired and confirmed village green (the Croft) creates an archetypal village scene that is regarded as one of the best in Staffordshire.

The Almshouse Trustees are determined to play their part in retaining the character of the village centre. The almshouses have been upgraded and restored several times over their history but are, again, in imminent need of major renovation. With appropriate action they are capable of remaining attractive accommodation for many years to come. Architectural plans have been prepared and approved by the Borough Council and English Heritage as appropriate to the building’s Grade II listing. The total cost of renovation is of the order of £600,000 and the interplay of the various elements of the renovation programme makes it difficult to break the work down into smaller low cost stages. Some grant aid is available but the Trustees face the task of finding the major part of the costs. Village support, both moral and practical, will be required if we are to preserve these historic facilities.