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Property of The Trustees of Sir William Turner's Hospital Kirkleatham, Yorkshire (Lots 344 and 345 )
FOR ALMOST 330 YEARS, Sir William Turner's Almshouses have provided sheltered housing at Kirkleatham, near Redcar in North Yorkshire.
William Turner, born at Guisborough in 1615, moved to London and was apprenticed to Richard Gore, a Merchant Tailor. Eventually he began trading on his own account, he became a city councillor, a Justice of the Peace and later an MP. Knighted by King Charles II for his public works, he rose to be Master of the Merchant Tailors Guild. Just two years after the Great Fire of London, he was the City's Lord Mayor. As he led the administration, Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke were surveying and redesigning the city, Samuel Pepys was writing his diary and Nell Gwynne was entertaining royally.
Although living all his working life in London, Sir William never lost touch with his North Yorkshire home. In 1674 he commissioned the design and building of his Hospital where he established almshouses. In June 1676 he opened the establishment, providing for 'ten old men and ten old women' along with free accommodation and schooling for 'ten poor boys and ten poor girls'. The Turner family and the successors relinquished control of the almshouses in 1951 and the management fell under the aegis of a Board of Trustees. After a major refurbishment in 2000-2002, there are now 25 almshouses providing for up to 35 residents.