General Information

THE DONNINGTON HOSPITAL TRUST WAS FOUNDED IN 1393 by Sir Richard Abberbury and re-founded in 1602 by Queen Elizabeth I. It is the oldest charity in Berkshire, the tenth oldest almshouse foundation in the country and the twenty third oldest registered charity in the country.

The Trust has a long history of caring for elderly people in Berkshire and Oxfordshire. The chairman Willie Hartley Russell and the trustees manage six almshouse sites comprising of 67 almshouses. The Trust provides warm and comfortable self-contained dwellings. Residents are encouraged to lead independent lives but are supported by wardens to ensure their general well being. The term "Hospital" refers to the medieval context of hospitality and caring.

The Trust is self funding and independent. Sir Richard Abberbury endowed the Trust with the Parish of Iffley in Oxford and other lands in the City of Oxford, Cowley and Littlemore. Today the Trust manages a substantial property portfolio consisting of commercial, industrial, agricultural and residential properties in Berkshire and Oxfordshire.

The Trust is very much a family charity, having been under the patronage of the Willie Hartley Russell MVO and the Hartley Russell family of Bucklebury since 1632 when John Packer acquired the Donnington Castle Estate."