Monument record MDR3441 - Gell's Bedehouses, Church Yard, Wirksworth

Type and Period (1)

  • (Elizabethan to Victorian - 1584 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

Founded by Anthony Gell in 1584, 2 storeys with 3 light mullioned windows and gable ends. (1) Gell's Bedehouses were established as a charitable institution in the late 16th century. Anthony Gell's will of 1579 gave directions for the construction of almshouses 'on the side of the Hannage, near the new bridge', with a grant of £20 per annum towards their maintenance. Letters patent of 1584 established that provision was to be made for six poor men in perpetuity. The Bedehouses survive substantially intact although altered in detail in the early 19th century and later. They form a stone-built two-storeyed range providing six two-roomed almshouses, three on each floor. The lack of early fireplaces suggests that the dwellings were originally unheated. The internal walls are or were timber-framed in large rectangular panels except on the ground floor in the area of the two stairways; here the division are of stone, supporting the stone steps. (2) Pencilled notes in the RCHME report (Authority 2) by B Joyce state that the remains of fireplaces were discovered in the rear wall of the Bedehouses in October 1992, indicating that the original dwellings were, in fact, heated. Ten samples were taken from timbers for dendro dating. Analysis gave a felling date of spring 1584. (3)

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <1> Index: NDAT. 3202. 3202.
  • <2> Unpublished document: RCHME (Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments of England). 1992. Historic Building Report. Gell's Bedehouses, The Churchyard, Wirksworth, Derbyshire.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Nottingham University Tree-Ring Dating Laboratory. Dendro Sample Record and Summary. Initial Report 7 December 1992.



Grid reference Centred SK 2879 5393 (8m by 17m) Approximate

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

  • EDR2472

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External Links (0)

Record last edited

Apr 12 2023 1:45PM

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