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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.  

 

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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.