Humberstone School and Almshouses, Humbertstone, 1780, unexecuted (4)
This unexecuted scheme for a school and almshouses in Humberstone, Lincolnshire, was possibly produced for the trustees of Matthew Humberstone’s estate. Matthew Humberstone was said to have been a foundling from Homerton who, upon purchasing estates in Lincolnshire, adopted the Humberstone name. Upon his death in 1709 he left several legacies in his will, granting £1,000 to the parish church and further funds for the establishment of a school and almshouses.
This design of 1780 was produced some 70 years after Matthew Humberstone’s death. As a result of ongoing disputes relating to his estates, a school was not established until 1821. Over the next two centuries the school went through several incarnations and was eventually closed in 2013.
Adam’s design is for a 114ft building, two storeys in height. The school forms the central block and this is flanked by wings containing almshouses. The design is highly practical with separate entrances for the school and each of the almshouses, with individual yards to the rear containing privies. Bolton notes that the layout is typical of Adam for domestic offices.
A.T. Bolton, The architecture of Robert and James Adam, 1922, Volume II, Index pp. 18; D. King, The complete works of Robert and James Adam & unbuilt Adam, 2001, Volume II, pp. 23, 28, 56; A. Nicholls, Almshouses in Early Modern England: Charitable Housing in the Mixed Economy of Welfare 1550-1725, 2019; ‘Matthai Humberstone’, The National archives, Kew, Surrey, Records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, Series PROB 11; Class: PROB 11; Piece: 511; ‘Matthew Humberstone Scholl, Clee – 166/722’, www.discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk (accessed February 2021)