The Fitzgerald Charity was founded by John Purcell Fitz-gerald in 1858 to care for the labouring poor of good character over 60 years age and living within 9 miles of Seaford. The almshouses were built in 1864 and the charity continues to provide housing to individuals in need of low cost housing in Seaford. Fitzgerald (1803-1879) was the owner of Corsica Hall, then known as Millberg. Originally a Suffolk family, John Purcell (John’s father) had moved with his family to Seaford to further his parliamentary ambitions as Seaford was a “pocket or rotten borough” Purcell had two children, John and Edward, (the poet and translator of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Beneficiaries of the charity had to be certified by a medical practitioner as “being a proper object of it” and any resident who proved to be guilty of drunkenness, profane swearing or other act of immorality or of habitual gross misconduct could not remain.
Fitzgeralds Almshouses in the 1970s
Further information about the Fitzgeralds and the Almshouses can be obtained from Seaford Museum’s publication: “Seaford Almshouses and the Fitzgeralds”. Kevin Gordon has written about the Fitzgeralds here.
Continue along Croft Lane and enter Broad Street where there are a number of cafes for a well earned rest.
If you have enjoyed your walk how about joining the Seaford Museum & Heritage Society and learn more about our town. Visit the museum at the Martello Tower. More details are to be found here where you can also make a donation.