Sherburn House Charity was founded by Bishop of Durham Hugh Pudsey (Hugh le Puiset) as ‘Christ’s Hospital in Sherburn’ around 1181. Its original purpose was as a leper hospital for ‘up to 65 leprous monks and nuns’.
During the early years of the Charity, it was endowed with a range of lands, including Sherburn, Garmondsway Moor, Ebchester, Whitton, Raceby and Sheraton and also became very wealthy due to coal mining on its estates.
in 1832, a building was erected as a residence for the Master and in 1858, a dispensary, providing free medical treatment for the poor, was opened in part of the Master’s house. This is now called ‘Ramsey House’ and is currently utilised as administration offices.
In 1857, a new scheme for the administration of the charity was introduced, whereby provision was made for the erection and maintenance of a school to educate poor children resident in Sherburn House and Whitwell. Grants were also given to schools in Gilesgate, Shadforth and Shincliffe, attended by children of miners or labourers living on the Charity’s estates. This is still a mission of the Charity to provide Relief in Need grants and each year, the Charity Trustees allocate an amount of money to provide small grants to individuals in need in the local area.
The construction of the hospital building was also completed by 1863 and was utilised as such until the 1950’s when it became a care establishment providing residential care for up to 60 older people.
in September 2017, a multimillion pound refurbishment started on Beddell House Care Home which formed part of a five year strategy to update and refurbish housing on the estate. Following the completion of this in March 2020, Ferens House and Thornley House also underwent a full renovation which completed in 2021.
in September 2021, Sherburn House Charity changed its legal structure to become a charitable company limited by guarantee.