Cart Almhouses

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The Jane Cart almshouses in High Street South, Dunstable. The almshouses have now been converted into luxury apartments after new legislation required safer stairs and other facilities for the widows who would formerly have been housed there. Jane Cart (1653-1736), was the youngest daughter of Thomas Chew who was a haberdasher in Dunstable. She inherited 10 High Street North from her mother, so this may have been the family home and business. She married James Cart, a merchant and distiller, in London in 1684. He died in 1706 and Jane inherited a great deal of wealth from her husband and other members of her family (her brother Thomas Chew died in 1698, her sister Elizabeth Aynscombe died in 1711, another brother William Chew died in 1712, and another sister, Frances Ashton, died in 1727). Jane became a generous benefactress to Dunstable causes and the almshouses are one of her many gifts to the town.