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Programme 2022
60th Anniversary Year

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Recent Events

Thu 17th November 2022
AGM & Social Evening

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Thu 20th October 2022
Changing Times
The impact of total war on Wiltshire 1939 – 1955
Presented by Local Studies Librarian Julie Davis
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Thu 15th September 2022
Looking back at Melksham in the 1950s
Presented by a member of the committee
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Corsham 17thC Schoolroom & Almshouses - Wed 17th June 2015
An afternoon visit to “Corsham 17thC Schoolroom & Almshouses”

(leaving Church St Car Park 1:45 pm) £2.50

Report -

Melksham and District Historical Association On Wednesday 17th June, our meeting was to The Lady Margaret Hungerford School & Almshouses in Corsham.

Lady Margaret, born in Gloucestershire in 1603, married Sir Edward Hungerford in1621 and lived at Corsham House - now Corsham Court. Sir Edward was commander of Cromwells troops in Wiltshire. He died in 1648.

Lady Margaret was a wealthy woman in her own right having inherited from her father Alderman William Halliday, a London merchant. Being a childless widow and a devoutly religious woman, she used some of her fortune for the benefit of the local poor and destitute. In 1665 she bought land to build 6 almshouses, a school masters house and a school room / chapel which was completed in1668. She selected the first school master and 6 women to be the first occupants of the almshouses. Their daily routine was dictated by 45 ordinances (rules.) Failure to obey could lead to fines and expulsion.

Melksham and District Historical Association   Lady Margaret died in1672 and after her death a board of Trustees administered the school and almshouses. The school remained in use for 230 years. In 1990 the Trustees decided to renovate and restore the buildings and make them available to rent paying tenants. Restoration was completed in 2001 aided by the Heritage Lottery Capital Fund.
Now there are 12 tenants residing at the complex. Aged between 35 - 65 years, having no dependant children they are connected in some way with the town of Corsham.

Access is available to the Schoolroom, Masters house, Exhibition Room, exterior of the buildings and the gardens.
A place well worth a visit. Our visit ended with a welcome tea and cake at the Methuen Arms.

Our next event is our Annual Outing on 16th July - a canal cruise from Bradford on Avon to Dundas.

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