fonds WH - Wandesford Hospital Archive

Identity area

Reference code



Wandesford Hospital Archive


  • c 1726-2014 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.44 cubic metres

22 boxes and 1 file

Context area

Name of creator


Administrative history

Mary Wandesford’s Charity was founded by the will of Mary Wandesford of Kirklington. The will, dated 4 November 1725, bequeathed lands in Brompton on Swale and stock to be held in trust by the Archbishop of York and four other trustees.

The profits were to be used to endow ‘a Religious House of Protestant Retirement’ for ten poor unmarried gentlewomen and to pay a schoolmaster to teach poor children at Kirklington.

Following Mary’s death in 1726 the will was contested in the Court of Chancery by the Duke of Newcastle on behalf of Mary’s legal heir, Lord Castlecomer, who was then a minor. Chancery upheld the will in a ruling of 1737 but stated that no-one under the age of fifty should be admitted as an inmate of the hospital.

Subsequently a site at Bootham, York, was chosen and construction of the hospital began in 1739. Wandesford Hospital, also known as Wandesford House, opened in 1743 and was staffed by a steward and a chaplain. Inmates had two rooms each and in addition received an annual pension.

The building remained largely unaltered until 1927 when the roof was replaced. In 1949-1950 the land at Brompton on Swale was sold.

Today the charity continues to own and run Wandesford House as an almshouse for single Christian women, aged over 50, who are in hardship, need or distress.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The archive was deposited at the Borthwick Institute prior to 1986. Further additions were made to the archive in 1986 and 2015.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Deeds, 1739-1908; administrative papers, including trustees’ minutes, 1742-1937, 1940-2010, and related papers, 1778-1885, 1968-1982, clerk’s correspondence and papers, 2007-2014, and correspondence, memoranda and other associated papers, 1734-1938; papers concerning chancery litigation, c.1726-c.1739, 1803-1804; financial records, including statements of account, 1739-1740, 1726-1874, account books, 1739-1942, including Lady Conyngham’s Trust accounts, 1906-1913 and the York Archbishopric Estates’ drainage account book, 1867-1870, receipt books, 1740-1816, building and repair accounts and estimates, 1738-1927, 1970-1973, bank books and papers, 1883-1884, 1898-1931, papers relating to legacies, 1761-1956, correspondence with the Charity Commissioners, 1879-1937, papers relating to the Hospital Restoration Fund and appeal, including correspondence, estimates, accounts, bank books and receipts relating to the appeal, 1927, and a CD of unlisted financial documents, 2006-2014; Allerthorpe estate rental, 1739; Brompton upon Swale estate records, including surveys and valuations, 1782-1903, maps and plans, 18th century-19th century, receipts and vouchers, 1734-1936, leases, 1741-1826, letters and papers from tenants and agents, 1740-1879, 1936, and Brompton Mill fee farm rents, 1734-1889, 1914-1915; papers relating to hospital inmates, including petitions for election, letters, and certificates of baptism, 1749-1965, 2003-2014, lists of applicants, 1931, 1941; historical notes, including orders, rules, statutes, extracts from will of Mary Wandesford and photograph of portrait of Mary Wandesford, c.1909-c.1926; National Association of Almshouses, yearbooks 1965-1968; certificates of teaching and receipts relating to bequest to Kirklington School, 1733-1847; Brompton upon Swale poor charity, receipts 1744-1827; publication, ‘The Wandesfordes of Kirklington and Castlecomer’ by Hardy Bertram McCall, 1904; unlisted file of papers and correspondence, historical notes about Wandesford House and the Wandesford family, photographs of interior and contents, and information about the major renovation of 1968, including plans of existing premises and planned alterations.


Further accruals are expected.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Records are open to the public, subject to the overriding provisions of relevant legislation, including data protection laws.

Conditions governing reproduction

A reprographics service is available to researchers subject to the access restrictions outlined above. Copying will not be undertaken if there is any risk of damage to the document. Copies are supplied in accordance with the Borthwick Institute for Archives' terms and conditions for the supply of copies, and under provisions of any relevant copyright legislation. Permission to reproduce images of documents in the custody of the Borthwick Institute must be sought.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

2 CDs and 1 USB stick. Access to audiovisual and digital material may be restricted due to technical requirements, please contact the Borthwick Institute in advance.

Finding aids

A typescript finding aid, to file level, is available for consultation in the searchroom of the Borthwick Institute. This includes all material received prior to 2015. Later material has not yet been catalogued, please contact the Borthwick Institute for more information.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

The archive of Lady Conyngham's Trust is also deposited at the Borthwick Institute (Reference: LCT).

Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

GB 193

Rules and/or conventions used

ISAD (G): General International Standard Archival Description, International Council on Archives (2nd edition, 2000); Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names, National Council on Archives (1997).

Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Created by S. A. Shearn, 02.07.15.




Accession area