King Edward IV, who granted the Shrewsbury Drapers their first charter in 1462.
Painted by Thomas Francis in 1660
Shrewsbury Drapers Company is a long-established Guild which was granted a royal charter in 1462. The Guild has been running almshouses continuously since 1444.
There are approximately 75 Freemen (members), all volunteers, who help run Drapers Hall (in St Mary’s Place) and the almshouses. In addition there are fund raising activities to support the almshouses.
It is one of about four guilds in the country that has been occupying its medieval Hall (completed in 1576) continuously from before the Great Fire of London. Some original oak furniture made for the Hall has been there since King Charles I. (Click here for more details of the building and the restaurant on the ground floor with a boutique hotel above)
The Guild is very conscious of the historical background and works to preserve two important buildings in Shrewsbury – Drapers Hall and Hospital of the Holy Cross adjacent to the Abbey Church in Abbey Foregate.
There are almshouses in Longden Coleham, Abbey Foregate and Wenlock Road.
Degory Watur and his wife. A Warden of the Company, Watur founded the almshouses in 1444.
“Many of us reach a point in our lives when we feel that, although we are physically fit and healthy, we would like to have the security of knowing we do not have to worry about the maintenance of our home and the paying of the bills that relate to it. We would like to be living in a community where our needs are understood but we can maintain our independence whilst living in our own home.
The Shrewsbury Drapers Company Almshouses can provide this security for single or widowed people of pensionable age, who do not require nursing care.
The Shrewsbury Drapers Company strives to the best of its ability to provide that happy, safe, secure and supportive community for the benefit of the Residents."
25 more units of accommodation are being built off Abbey Foregate and should be available from late October 2016. (Click here for more details)