Our founder, William Whiteley, was a successful retail entrepreneur. When he died in 1907, he bequeathed £1 million to create housing for ‘the needy poor in their old age’.
The Whiteley Homes Trust was founded in 1907 and it began building Whiteley Village here at Walton-on-Thames in Surrey in 1914 – the first purpose-built retirement village in the UK, as far as we know.
Our first resident was Eliza Palmer, a retired nurse, who moved into her cottage on 10 October 1917. Since then, Whiteley Village has survived two World Wars, hosted two royal visits and completed two cottage refurbishment programmes.
William Whiteley’s vision and his social and architectural ambition made the Village outstanding for its time and it remains so today.
The Trust is committed to delivering on the original objectives and principles of the charity, whilst adapting and improving how we operate to ensure a sustainable future for our Village and everyone who lives and works here.
Further information about our historical milestones, important Whiteley artefacts and much more, can be found in the collection at the Whiteley Village Museum which is cared for and curated by our residents. Visits can be arranged on request.