Freemans & Seamans Almshouses

Almshouses are charitable housing provided to people in a particular community often targeted to people in housing need or from particular industries.

Sunderland Merchant Seamen's Homes

This hidden gem is situated in the East End of Sunderland and is the “original” Trafalgar Square, built in 1840 with funds from the Muster Roll to provide housing for seafarers and their dependents. 

2015 was the 175th anniversary of the square, which is still fulfilling its original welfare mission, for the benefit of those who have earned a living from the sea, provided by those who have earned their living from the sea.

The trust fund provides 30 x one bedroom flats, 2 x two bedroom flats and one communal room.  28 flats are currently occupied, many with long standing residents; 3 flats are due to be refurbished to ensure they meet modern standards.  

To apply for one of these flats the occupants shall be deserving poor persons who are retired seamen or the widows of seamen or their close family who will be not less than fifty years of age.

“A quiet, friendly, peaceful and comfortable place to live. A picturesque view from my window onto the square grounds.”

Almshouses Resident.

Freemans Almshouses

There have been almshouses in the United Kingdom for more than 1000 years, with the oldest almshouse charity foundation still in existence being the Hospital of St Oswald in Worcester founded in 990. Many are old, often beautiful historic buildings, others are more modern and some are newly built. What they all have in common is their provision of affordable housing and support for the needy or vulnerable, often older people and are usually managed by local trustees.

The Association traces its roots back to February 1946 when, at a meeting held in the Chapter House of Southwark Cathedral, representatives of London’s almshouses formed a committee to safeguard the interests of almshouse buildings and the welfare of residents.

Almshouses are managed by volunteer trustees and are often built in relatively small groups that become an enduring and important part of the fabric of their local community; We manage an Almshouse property in East End of Sunderland.  It consists of 4 flats.

Our Strategic Objectives

Back on the Map works in the heart of the community to empower the people of Hendon to build;

Our Core Values

A little insight into what is important to us here at Back on the Map;