This is on display in the Welfare section of Places Gallery

Also I will that my said execturors of my goodes finde an honest prest  to syng dayly in the chapell of myn Almesshouse set in Stepestret in the parissh of St Mighell in Bristowe

Will of John Foster, merchant of Bristol, 6 August 1492

Wealthy merchant John Foster founded Foster's Almshouse at the top of Christmas Steps in 1483 to provide accommodation for Bristol's poor, elderly and disadvantaged.

Foster stipulated that the residents of the almshouse were to be English, unmarried and over the age of 50. Later, in 1553, accommodation at the almshouse was increased when Dr George Owen, physician to King Henry VIII, made provisions for an additional ten "poor persons" to live there.

Bristol Corporation managed Foster's Almshouse until it was taken over by the newly created Bristol Municipal Charities in 1835. They commissioned architects Foster and Woods to remodel it creating the buildings that can still be seen today.

The remodelled almshouse drew much praise and visitors often stop to admire it at the top of Christmas Steps. The building continued to function as an almshouse up until 2006, when the property was sold and converted into residential apartments. The almshouse moved to a new modern building in North Bristol.


We Three Kings

Foster's Almshouse had a chapel dedicated to the Three Kings of Cologne. The Christmas Steps adjacent to the chapel still contain the stone seats where the residents collected alms at certain times of the religious year.

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