This map shows its relationship with the Almshouses, the Windmill, and the Endowed School of Cleaves, at the top of the High Street.
There have been several ‘Poor Houses’ in the village, and since an Act of Parliament of 1723 they have been used as Parish Workhouses.
This single row of cottages became our centralised workhouse for the few years from 1795 until a new Poor Law Act of 1824, brought about the Union Workhouse at Coxheath.
Following an Order of Vestry on the 15th of March 1795 for better accommodation of the poor, a resolution was passed by the Vestry, on 17th of June that year. This was to purchase the house and garden on the School Green from Mr William Jarman for £ 250. For this purpose they borrowed £ 300, and spent the remaining £ 50 on the erection of a shed nearby for a manufactory.
(In October of 1795 other poor houses were sold to Mr John Sidney for £ 320.)
Until the start of the 20th century this row of cottages were known as Workhouse Row.
The adjacent field opposite the school that now contains the council houses, was identified on the Tithe Map of 1841 as ‘Workhouse Field’.
When the property was sold in 1890 there were the original seven cottages, with the thatched manufactory then made into two tenements, plus a small detached cottage, together producing an annual total rent of £ 71 4s. 4d. Two tenants Jesse Appleton
In the Sale poster of 1890 they were described as being, brick built and weatherboarded, with tile roofs. Each containing a living room, scullery, pantry, coal store, closet, a bedroom, and an attic. They all had outside shared toilets.
They were bought by a Henry Mitchell of Yalding House, Churchfield Road, ACTON, Middx. So this is where the name ACTON PLACE came from when he changed it from Workhouse Row.
Like most village houses the first public utility to reach them was water near the turn of the 20th century. This was followed with gas for cooking, and lighting using a mantle. Electricity was not laid on until around the time of the Second World War.