History

History


william whiteleyWhiteley Village was founded on the bequest of William Whiteley (“the Universal Provider”) who founded Whiteley’s department store in Bayswater, London in 1863.

He bequeathed “as nearly as may be whole but not exceeding the sum of £1,000,000 sterling” for the purchase of land and the erection thereon “of buildings to be used and occupied by aged poor persons of either sex as homes in their old age”. This bequest became available sooner than expected due to his murder in 1907.

Building began in 1914 with Elizabeth Palmer (Whiteley Village’s first resident) moving into her cottage on 10 October 1917. The architectural and social ambition of Whiteley’s vision made Whiteley Village outstanding for its time and still unique today. It is thought that this development was the first purpose built retirement village in the UK.

Over the last 100 years Whiteley Village has survived 2 World Wars, hosted 2 royal visits and completed 2 cottage refurbishment programs. Details of all these events (and much more of Whiteley’s history) can be found in the collections at the Whiteley Village Museum.

museum insidemusuem frontWhiteley Village Museum

The museum is open from 2.00pm-4.00pm on the second Sunday of every month.

Alternative days and times can be arranged for groups, Villagers and guests.

Whiteley’s History Society also offer pre-booked tours to explore the history and architecture of the Village.

For more information please contact the General Office: 01932 842360