Ladies’ Lodge is also almshouse accommodation, and was set up from the endowments of Blandina Marshe and Mary Lockington in 1770 for ‘poor maiden gentlewomen who should be upwards of 40 years and be descended of reputable parents’.
There are six house or ‘lodges’, each of which is designed for single long-term habitation. Space is provided for Almsperson’s visitors to stay overnight.
Each lodge has its own back yard for hanging washing and for rubbish bins. There is a large communal rear garden for the use of residents. A gardener tends the front and rear gardens.
As at June 2019
Representative Trustees ( 4 year term of office)
Dunstable Town Council:
Mr Trevor Owens Mr John Bradley
Co-optative Trustees (5 year term of office)
Mrs Brenda Boatwright (Chairman) Mr Alan Salter
Mrs Carol Owens Mrs Dorothy McNamara
Clerk: Mrs Julie Tipler 01582 660008
Normal Office Hours:
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 9.00 a.m. – 1.00 p.m.
Blandina Marshe and Mary Lockington
Blandina Marshe 1663 – 1741. Mary Lockington 1665 – 1730 married Thomas Lockington
Blandina Marshe portrait
This is a portrait of Blandina Marshe. She and her sister, Mary, inherited their father’s estate, sharing it equally.
Marshe coat of arms
This is the Marshe coat of arms, awarded to William, Blandina and Mary’s grandfather.
Blandina Marshe coat of arms
Blandina was given the same Christian name as her mother, who was born Blandina Ironmonger.
This is Herne Farm, near Toddington.
This is Lockington Farm, in Totternhoe. In the past it was known at Charity Farm.
The Ladies Lodge was built in 1743 in ‘East Street’ and ‘as close to the Priory Church as possible.’ The inhabitants were envisaged as being refined ladies, now living in reduced circumstances. Ladies Lodge is never referred to as almshouses.
Ladies Lodge 2009
The inscription on the front of ladies Lodge surrounds the Marshe coat of arms and says
This Lodge was built and Endowed
To the Will of Blandina Marshe.
Marshe Dickinson bust
Marshe Dickinson was a distant cousin of William Chew, Frances Ashton and Jane Cart. He was executor of Blandina Marshe’s estate, chairman of her trustees and instrumental in the erection of ladies Lodge.
Marshe Dickinson arms
This is the coat of arms on Marshe Dickinson’s memorial in the south aisle of the priory Church.
Ladies Lodge graves
These graves are in the north-east corner of the Priory’s churchyard and contain past residents of the Ladies Lodge.
This memorial, in the south aisle of the Priory Church, commemorates many members of the extended Marshe family, including Blandina Marshe and her sister Mary Lockington.
The Association of Dunstable Charities
76 High Street North
If you have any queries or wish to make an application for a grant, please contact us:
+44 1582 660008