Built to house the elderly and deserving of the parish in 1872 by local entrepreneur Josiah Saville, who secured the rights to produce Robert Bunsen’s eponymous laboratory burner in the village in 1862. The little factory was the sole supplier of bunsen burners in the East of England, and in its heyday employed over 40 workers. The factory brought some minor prosperity to the little village, and in 1871, Saville proposed the building of some splendid almshouses, originally for the benefit of those factory workers who were “beyond the age of useful employment.” The proposal was eventually accepted by the Parish Council after some deliberation and a plot of land at Murrow’s Drift was secured for 3 Guineas. The almshouses were originally named after Saville himself (Saville’s Row) as he had put forward all of the money, but was rededicated in Bunsen’s name following the infamous Saville incident at the Soddenham Womens Institute (now disbanded) which is very rarely mentioned in any local histories of the area.
Bunsen’s Buildings, 1872. Carstone with gault brick dressings and slate roof. Two storey with 5 gabled windows evenly distributed. Some windows with Gothic tracery. Hollow dentil eaves cornice, gabled roof and ridge stacks carrying quadrille diamond flues.
Architect: N.A. Sampson