Header Image for Kington St. Michael Village Website

Lyte's Almshouses and the Allotments
(Kington St Michael United Charities.  Registered Charity No. 201283)


Isaac Lyte* (1612-1672), a native of Kington St Michael who became an alderman of the City of London and lived at Mortlake, left £600 for the building of almshouses for six poor unmarried men of the parishes of Kington St Michael and Kington Langley. They were completed in 1675 and are the oldest secular buildings in the parish.

Isaac Lyte was was a cousin of John Aubrey.  His will states that one of his daughters, Sarah, had the married surname of Bowerman. The History of Parliament website, states that George Bowerman, MP for East Greenwich, married Sarah, daughter of Isaac Lyte, skinner, of London and Mortlake, in 1669. So it seems that the Isaac Lyte who donated the almshouses had a successful business in the leather trade.

According to the very well researched 1991 biography of Aubrey by David Tylden-Wright the almshouses were built by a cousin of Aubrey (the word "cousin" can mean a second or third cousin or even more distant relation).  

In the 1960s the almshouses were restored and bathrooms were added and in 2008 an extension was built on each end house, to make them suitable for disabled tenants or couples.

In 2010 another house in the village was acquired by the charity, which was then converted into two cottages. Most recently a further property was acquired directly opposite Lyte's Almshouses; this has enabled some off-road parking to be accessed by residents.

In 1901 the charity was amalgamated with a number of smaller charities as Kington St Michael United Charities (Registered Charity No. 201283). Whilst the charity's primary concern remains the care and letting of the almshouses (now to men and women), from time to time it provides help for educational purposes for residents of Kington St Michael and Kington Langley (excluding Draycot Cerne). It also administers the allotments, which are situated behind the almshouses, making the almshouses one of the very few in the country which have land attached. 

History of Lyte's Almshouses.

The Clerk to the Trustees is:
Mrs Sue Roe, The Old Police House, 11 Kington St Michael, Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN14 6JB. Tel. (01249) 750622, email clerkksmuc@aol.com.

There are six Trustees: the Vicar (or designated person) and a representative from each Parish Council, from each of the parishes of Kington St Michael and Kington Langley, and two nominated Trustees.

View over the allotments, courtesy of Stewart Shape 04/2020
View over the allotments, April 2020
(photo courtesy of Stewart Shape
, of Buzzard Films UK)

The allotments are situated to the rear of the almshouses.  For information on allotment availability please contact Jessica Puddy on (01249) 750270.


Best allotment

On July 28th 2019 the first Best Allotment competition was held.  The plots were looking their best for the three judges, Luanne Cullinane, Gary Seward and Rick Squires, and first prize was awarded to Barry and Jenny Hayne, with Bruce Low as runner-up.  In the evening a barbecue was held for all the allotment holders.

Trustees needed! Do you have just two hours to spare every other month?  If so, you would be warmly welcomed.  For details of what is entailed please contact Mrs Sue Roe, Clerk to the Almshouses Trust, on (01249) 750622.

Allotments: Village allotments, of varying plot sizes, can be rented annually by residents of Kington St Michael and Kington Langley, subject to availability. To register an interest in joining this thriving allotment community, please contact Jessica Puddy on (01249) 750270.

In 2008 two extensions were built, one on each end almshouse.

Almshouse extension
One of the two new extensions - October 2008

 Coat of Arms  Isaac Lyte Plaque

The coat of arms, Isaac Lyte's plaque in St Michael & All Angels Church,
the allotments