William Tyrrell Charity


The William Tyrrell Trust was founded in 1662 by William Tyrrell for the benefit of the poor in West Hagbourne.

In his will, William Tyrrell left a piece of land that is known to have been much larger than that of today. There are no records indicating what factors may have caused diminution of the size of the original piece of land over time, but all that remains now is just over 3 acres (3 acres, 3 rods and 17 perches) of arable farmland that is currently let, providing a small annual income.

Little is known or recorded about the history of the Trust prior to 1900. The Charity Commissioner's scheme of 1896 directed that the income of the charity should be used in supplying clothes, boots, linen, bedding, and fuel to the Poor who were not in receipt of Poor Law relief.

Early records show that once a year certain poor villagers were given 5cwt of coal at Christmas. This practice continued into the 1930s, but after the war this was changed to a scheme where designated villagers were provided with food tokens. The Charity is now regulated by a scheme prepared by the Charity Commissioners and duly approved on 8th September 1931.

In 1990 all pensioners in the village were invited to a Christmas lunch paid for by the Trust. Latterly, with the rise in standards of living for all in the village and in line with the recommendations of the Charity Commission, the Trustees have considered it more appropriate to offer small monetary grants, constrained by the very small annual income of the Trust.


Most recently, grants have been awarded to young people to assist them in pursuing specific and worthwhile goals. The aim is to support and enhance equal opportunities for the young people of the village in today's challenging and competitive environment. Young people who think they might qualify for a small grant should contact one of the trustees.


The Trust's land lies at the bottom of Hagbourne Hill, bordered by land owned by Thames Water to the south, Chilton Road to the east and land owned by Mrs J. Napper/ the A417 to the north. The western boundary lies alongside farmland owned by Hagbourne Farm Partners. The Trust's land is registered by H.M. Land Registry (Title no: ON219113); Title Absolute having been granted in April 2000. The Official Custodian for Charities is the designated proprietor of the land.

The Trust land also potentially contains 4 - 5 village allotments. The portion of land reserved for allotments has fallen into disuse and the Trustees are considering what to do with it in the future.


There are 3 Trustees at any one time, all of whom must be residents of West Hagbourne village and, if possible, one of whom should ideally be a Parish Councillor. Trustees are appointed by the Parish Council and serve for a period of four years.

The present trustees are Mike Butler, Marion Judd (Vice Chair, West Hagbourne Parish Council) and Bridget Pickup.


More detailed information about the Trust can be found in Windsor Hakebourne: the Story of West Hagbourne published by the West Hagbourne Village History Group. (Chapter 6, P89: The Hagbourne Charities and the Philanthropic Tyrrells; The William Tyrrell Charity, P100)

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