Marshchapel Combined Trust
A Brief History
Perhaps many of you have never heard of the Marshchapel Combined Trust so we thought it would be a good idea to let you know more about it.
The Marshchapel Combined Trust has helped members of the parish for three hundred and fifty years. The Trust was formed in 1652 when land was bought to safeguard a collection of bequests, in particular the Harpham Wesly’d and Lill bequests, which had been given for village people in need. Cottages and fields were rented out to provide money, housing and land for poor people. Cash was distributed every Easter and Christmas and individual cases of hardship were given special consideration.
Many people were forced into the workhouse after 1837 due to changes in the Poor Law, but it seems that Marshchapel Combined Trust tried to support village paupers so that they could continue to live and work in the parish and grow their own food in the charity gardens (which can still be seen running from the back of the Trust houses on Sea Dyke Way to Littlefield Lane). The cottages, fields and gardens still provide income for the Trust and land for local people to cultivate. Unfortunately none of the old cottages remain. A thatched cottage at the edge of the churchyard was probably the oldest dwelling; it is shown on Haiwarde’s map displayed in the Village Hall but was demolished in 1886. Five thatched cottages known as Poor’s Row were destroyed by fire but in 1893 two new cottages were built (on Sea Dyke Way next to the Greyhound Inn), which are still maintained and updated by the Trust today.
At Christmas the Trust distribute vouchers to pensioners for use in the local shops and pubs which echo the spirit of the Trust’s earlier distribution and to bring the Trust up to date we now assist many different organisations and individuals across the age range within our community.
Although every effort is made to administer the Trust in the spirit of the original bequests, the Trustees have had to adapt to the needs of changing times but are always willing to consider legitimate requests for help from members of our community.
The Marshchapel Combined Trust is administered by six Trustees, two of whom are nominated by the Parish Council and may or may not be Parish Councillors. The remaining four Trustees are Co-opted from people who through residence, occupation or employment have special knowledge of the Parish.
Contact details are the same as for the Parish Council:-
Clerk to Trustees, Marshchapel Combined Trust.