The Dulwich Estate

Edward Alleyn House

Edward Alleyn House comprises 14 flats and 2 bed-sitting rooms and is located adjacent to Christ's Chapel and opposite Dulwich Park and the Charity is careful to ensure that they are maintained and steadily improved to meet the changing needs of the residents, providing comfortable homes.

In recent years the heating and hot water systems have been renewed, walk-in baths have been provided (reflecting the residents’ wishes) and there is a regular programme of redecoration, which incorporates upgrading kitchens and other fittings. Stair lifts have been installed in three of the four blocks (but there is no access for those using wheelchairs).

To qualify as a resident an applicant must satisfy all of the following conditions:

  • be an inhabitant of the area of benefit;
  • at least 60 years of age;
  • in “need, hardship or distress” and
  • of modest financial means;
  • be able to look after themselves without the need of medical assistance (the Warden makes daily calls on each resident and a home help service is offered, but the Charity does not offer medical assistance or other forms of care. However, some residents have care packages provided by the local authority).

Applications can be made direct to the Estate Office.

A home visit will be arranged, followed by an interview with two of the Trustees, after which a decision will be made on whether the applicant meets the requirements of the Charity. Residents no longer have to swear the Oath (see below)!

Residents pay a weekly maintenance contribution which (since 1996) is related to the “fair rent”, and a share of the cost of the services provided by the Charity. This maintenance contribution qualifies for Housing and Social Security Benefit.

(From Edward Alleyn’s Statutes and Ordinances of 29 September 1626)

You, A.B., unto whome God out of his goodnesse and mercy hath bestowed this guift to be one of the poore brethren or sisters of this College of God’s Guift, in Dulwich, in the countie of Surrey, shall here professe, that you are a single person and unmarried, and shall so continue all the time that you abide in this college; you shall not deceiptfully, malitiously, or wittinglye for your part, breake any of the ordinances or statutes of this college, but trulie observe, keep, and pforme the same, and you shall never consent, graunt, or agree to any alienacon, sale or puttinge away any of the landes, tentes, rentes, goods, or profits, or other things that doe or hereafter shall belong or appteyne to the said college, nor by any manner of waies or means practise or goe about to alter or chaunge the foundacon of this college, or any statute or ordinance made for the welfare and government thereof; nor doe or commit any acte or actes, thing or thinges, to the derrogacon, disturbance, losse or damage of the said college. So helpe you God, and the holie contents of this book.

For further information please visit The Dulwich Almshouse Charity website at: