|Down St. Johns Street on the right hand side as you near the Iron Bridge is an ancient stone house that was the Vicarage until 1875. At the rear of this house there is medieval stone wall, once part of a Tudor structure. Next door are the almshouses known as Queen Anne’s Hospital, the fourth such premises on this sight (the original being 13th century). There is an interesting plaque above one of the front windows dated 1615, dedicating the hospital to the people of the town from Queen Anne, wife of James I.
Five Almshouses. 1891, by Ernest Taylor. Red brick in Flemish bond with close-studded timber-framing with plastered infill to 1st floor. Plain tile roof; brick chimneys. The building comprises a low single-storey wing containing Nos 34, 36, and 38, set back behind a wall on the street line; and a 2-storey cross-wing at left (south) end containing Nos 40 and 42. Near left end of single-storey range is entrance lobby with a battened door set in a secondary 2-centred arch. Four pairs of sash windows with wide boxes, and raised external architraves and cornice. Moulded sills. The upper sash of each window is subdivided into 8 panes. Between the 3rd and 4th pairs, a single sash window of similar design. One small dormer window against the cross wing. 3 tall corniced stacks. The cross-wing has battered base and an end buttress. The upper floor is jettied, carried on timber brackets on stone corbels, and has a deep pulvinated fascia and moulded plasterwork in the lower panels of the timber framing and a four-light paned window. Above, a shallow jettied bressumer carries the studded gable end. Moulded bargeboards. A painted board applied to the lower panels of the upper floor reads, in dubious period English, AL YOV CHRISTIANS THAT HERE DOOE PAS / BY GIVE SOOME THING TO THESE POORE PEOPLE / THAT IN ST JOHN HOSPITAL DOETH LY. A D 1615. To either side, small slate panels set in the moulded plaster, record the foundations and the periods of rebuilding, and are signed by the Vicar and churchwardens, in 1891 by the master, the Rev C M Ottley and governors.: a continuous open raised cloister walk, with moulded timber handrail between turned newels with knob finials. Windows as before. Two doors. One flat-roofed dormer. Interior: The through-passage is arched at the back, and has on the left, the stair to No 42 on the first floor. Unmoulded 6-panelled doors to the ground floor, 4-panel door to the upper dwelling.
History: The Almshouses were originally founded in 1287 as St John Hospital, and were re-founded in 1615 for elderly and poor persons of the town, by deed of a charter granted by James I, and which directed that the name be changed to Queen Anne’s Hospital. It was rebuilt in 1825, and again in 1891 to the design of Ernest Taylor, a former assistant of E S Harris.
Bull F W, A History of Newport Pagnell, 1900, p228; Pevsner N and Williamson E, Buckinghamshire, Buildings of England Series, 2nd edition, 1994, p 579.