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Scope note

Use for buildings where the indigent or otherwise helpless without further recourse are cared for and put to work at public expense; in the United States, established since the mid-18th century and usually funded by local or state governments or parishes; in England, originally under the administration of monasteries for dispensing alms, later endowed by private charities. For buildings where the disabled, elderly poor, or vagrants are confined for reformative and correctional purposes, use "workhouses." For places established solely for the distribution of alms, use "almonries."

Term type


Getty AAT term number


Broader Terms used

welfare buildings

Narrower Terms used


Equivalent Terms used



12yrs ago

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Terminology definition for: almshouses" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-12-10 21:57:41

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