The Bush and Bennett Charity is the oldest in the village. The most obvious evidence of the charity is the four almshouses and the beautiful schoolhouse built in the early eighteenth century, close to what is now the Babraham Institute.
Another more stark reminder of this benevolent family who lived in the Hall is the memorial to two members of the Bennett family in the church. The long, ghostly marble figures of Richard and Thomas Bennett emerging from the grave stands on the right as you enter the church. The major benefactor was Miss Judith Bennett who was the sole occupier of the Hall as her other sisters married and lived elsewhere. Her eldest sister, Mary, was married to James Bush whose family contributed to the other half of the charity. When Judith died in 1724, she left money to educate the children of the parish, pay the schoolmaster (and his wife for teaching the girls to sew) and to establish apprenticeships on the family’s land, as well as providing six almshouses for women of the parish. The school and hospital (as the almshouses were known) were built in 1730 with money not only from Judith but also funds from her brother-in-law, James Bush, and his son, Levinus. The school functioned, with some ups and downs including a parental boycott, until the new school was built on its present site in 1989. The almshouses were reduced from six to four but continued to serve the spinsters and widows of the parish as the prime beneficiaries.
The Almshouse and Educational Charities are now merged with the role of maintaining the almshouses and giving annual small grants to the school and also awarding, on application, small grants to those under 21 years of age who live in the parish.
Annual General Meeting
The AGM of the charity is held in August. Everyone is welcome to come and hear about the work of our village Charity. The date will be published here when confirmed.
Chairman – Sally Punshon 01223 830 332
Treasurer – Hilary Seaward 01223 560 065
Secretary – Sue Rigby 01223 830 318