Built Heritage: St George’s Parish Home, 18 Secretary Road

Built Heritage: St George’s Parish Home, 18 Secretary Road

BUILT HERITAGE: November 2021 By Linda Abend and Margie Lloyd, Bermuda National Trust

This post is part of a series of architectural articles by the Bermuda National Trust that highlight some of Bermuda’s endangered historic buildings. 

Sarah Davenport, the eldest daughter of prosperous St George’s merchant, John Davenport, died in 1873 and left the sum of £400 to the St George’s Parish Vestry for the purpose of establishing “an eligible and healthy home for parishioners in need”. The Poor House, as it was originally known, was built in 1881 in the former Government House Park and enjoyed sweeping views to the ocean. It replaced an earlier ‘poor house’ near Penno’s Wharf. As an aside, Sarah’s sister, Jane, was married to William Penno, the Deputy Military Storekeeper for the British garrison. It was he who built the wharf and two-storey warehouse that still bears his name.

Poor houses in the 19th century were intended to care for the ‘worthy poor’ of the parish and not newly-arrived impoverished strangers. This was especially necessary in St George’s which saw large numbers of followers or ‘groupies’ who accompanied arriving British regiments and often put a strain on local charities. Although her history is not known, Margaret Smith was one of those in need. Born in St George’s in 1837 Margaret resided at the Poor House for almost 40 years until her death at the age of 83 in 1920.

Read the full Built Heritage Article on St.Georges Parish Home

November 10, 2021 News