Thorner’s is an Almshouse Charity which exists to provide accommodation for single ladies. It is registered with the Homes and Communities Agency and is governed by a Board of Trustees who give their services voluntarily.
Robert Thorner was born in 1621 and lived during the turbulent times of the 17th century. He had been a wealthy London merchant, but failing health led him to retire to Hampshire sometime during the 1680s. He died in North Baddesley, Hampshire in 1690 and his Will provided that, after certain individual bequests, sums of money should be devoted to educational and apprenticeship purposes in Wessex towns. Being staunchly religious Robert Thorner also left specific amounts to his church.
In 1788, as a result of Robert Thorner’s bequests, four almshouses for widows of good character and limited means were built between Above Bar Street and West Marlands Road, at a cost of some £450. They were said to be very pleasant, a quadrangle with green lawns and trees.
Following centuries of redevelopment, Thorner’s Homes now provides 98 modern flats across two sites in Southampton.
In 2006 the objects of the charity were revised by the Charity Commission to provide accommodation for:
(i) widows of limited income and means or
(ii) single ladies in need aged 55 or over.