Christ’s Hospital of Abingdon is the oldest of Oxfordshire’s charities and dates from 1553. The Hospital is pre-dated by the Fraternity of the Holy Cross, first documented in 1436 and responsible for building the centrepiece of Christ’s Hospital, the Long Alley Almshouses, in 1446. Christ’s Hospital is also partly derived from the older and smaller charity, the Guild of Our Lady, in existence certainly by 1247, possibly formed substantially earlier.
Christ’s Hospital of Abingdon provides assistance to the people of Abingdon through four primary means: 1) The provision of Almshouses to townsfolk who are of good character, over 55 years of age and in need, 2) The support of those referred to the Charity by care agencies by assisting with the purchase of essential items, 3) Educational support to school pupils from Abingdon, 4) The support of local organizations deemed by the Governors to be of benefit to Abingdon townsfolk.
The Charity also provides public service to the town by maintaining Albert Park for use by the people of Abingdon and by maintaining the town’s historical Almshouses to the standards required of listed buildings and of comfortable modern living.