Bond’s and Ford’s Almshouses are as recognisable to citizens and visitors to Coventry in the 21st Century as they would have been when first founded, 500 years ago. The Almshouses were founded in Coventry in the early 1500s by Thomas Bond and William Ford.
The title of this book, “For so long as the world shall endure”, is a quotation from Thomas Bond’s will stipulating his bequest was to last for all of time. Bond’s and Ford’s have witnessed centuries of change around them and have themselves developed in many ways, but half a millennium after their founding both Almshouses do indeed continue to serve their original purpose, in their original buildings, on the same sites, and still financed and managed in largely the same way.
A history spanning 500 years has an inherent depth and detail but what is also notable about Bond’s and Ford’s is the breadth of topics touched upon in their history. Matters referred to include the development of almshouses more generally, the relief of poverty, charitable foundations, religious belief, local politics, agriculture, estate management and a lot more besides. The history of Bond’s and Ford’s is fascinating in itself but also illuminates a variety of aspects of British social history and will appeal to many different readers