The Town Mayor, trustees and residents of the Marjorie Hurst almshouses gather to unveil the new plaque

A blue plaque dedicated to the founder of a local almshouse charity has been unveiled on Silk Mill Street.

Town Mayor, Councillor Peter Coan, and former Town Mayor Valerie Young JP MBE, the longest serving Trustee of the Charity, cut the ribbon to unveil the new plaque dedicated to Marjorie Hurst.

The Charity of Marjorie Hurst provides almshouses for older residents of Knutsford and owns a row of flats and cottages on Silk Mill Street. The plaque was installed following extensive research by Jenny Collis of Knutsford Heritage Centre into the origin of the town centre almshouses and the life of Marjorie Hurst.

“We knew very little about Marjorie Hurst and how she established the almshouses so we are delighted with the research put in by Jenny Collis and the support from the Town Council in providing the plaque which is now there for everyone to see” said Rick Dallimore, the Chair of Trustees.

The plaque commemorates Marjorie Hurst who was a spinster and life-long Knutsfordian who spent much of her life looking after her parents. Her father, Frederick Hurst, had been the manager of the Union Bank on King Street but it was through the line of her maternal grandfather that Marjorie inherited property. In her will she left property and money upon trust to the then Knutsford Urban District Council with the bequest that the dwellings she owned on Silk Mill Street be used as “almshouses for the deserving” of the town.

Initially the almshouses were provided rent free to the occupiers, but over time the dwellings fell into disrepair. In the 1980s the Town Council received permission from the Charity Commission to charge the residents a weekly maintenance contribution provided that a separate new trust was set up. The Charity of Marjorie Hurst was established and in the 1990s the Trustees secured a Housing Corporation grant to renovate the four remaining cottages and to build the six flats that exist on Silk Mill Street today.

Town Mayor Cllr Peter Coan said “It was an honour to unveil our new blue plaque honouring the legacy of Marjorie Hurst with the trustees and residents of the charity that bears her name. Through Marjorie’s philanthropy, Knutsford has a charity providing housing to those who might otherwise not be able to afford a home of their own – what a forward-thinking Knutsfordian.”

The Charity of Marjorie Hurst is today managed by a board of five trustees. More information about the charity can be found on their website: