of Mrs Mabel Luke
Registered with the Charity Commissioners no. 236518
On January 13th 1928 Lord Lloyd Henry Baxendale, and other trustees* of the Charity of Miss Martha Smith of Greenham, signed a conveyance document in favour of Mrs Mabel Luke for freehold land "having a frontage of 200 feet or thereabouts" to Mill Lane in the Borough of Newbury, Berkshire. The Land consisted of "two acres or thereabouts". This consisted of 5 adjacent plots of land which was then in the Parish of Greenham.
* Other trustees were 3 "Clerks in Holy Orders".
The Reverend James Nevill Blagden of Greenham Vicarage.
The Reverend Ernest Henry Stenning of St John's Vicarage, Newbury.
The Reverend Aubrey Isaac Rothwell Butler of Sandleford Priory.
At that time Mrs Luke who lived in Adbury House in Hampshire (see pictures below) paid £300 for the land. Later that year The Charity of Mrs Mabel Luke went on to build four 3 bedroomed linked houses on three of the plots and conveyed all the land to Trustees for charitable purposes.
The original trust deed defined that the land was to be used to provide homes for "deserving persons, of the working classes, who had been residents of the Parish of Greenham or Town of Newbury for at least a year”, with priority being given to families with young children.
There were no financial or other endowments to help maintain the properties, which were to be self-funding through rents. Therefore no further houses could be built and the spare land was used at times for allotments but mostly left unused.
The founding Deed was replaced by a Declaration of Trust in December 1948 and again by a Charity Commission Scheme in 1982. This created the Charity of Mrs Mabel Luke as now exists (No 236518), with the residences to be “for persons in need, hardship and distress”, resident in the town of Newbury or the Parish of Greenham and “said buildings shall be appropriated and used as almshouses”
Pictured below is an example of the original houses, No.13 Mill Lane in October 2015, with an enlarged image of the Cornerstone which can be seen to the top left of the house, above the archway. The Directors intend to incorporate the cornerstone into the new building.
The picture below taken in June 2015 shows the as yet unused land to the side of the houses which was overgrown :
The rear of No.13 :
Unused Land to the side / rear is cleared ready for building :
Pictures of Adbury House below:
click on each one to enlarge it, it may take a while to appear.