It was founded by George Abbot, the Archbishop of Canterbury (1611–1633) in 1619 to provide homes for the elderly of Guildford. It is on the High Street in Guildford, opposite the Holy Trinity Church, where its founder, the Archbishop, is buried.
The Upper Courtyard was built between 1619 and 1621, and the first residents arrived in 1622. A set of flats was built in the lower courtyard in 1984, providing accommodation for seven couples.
A heritage appeal in 2004 raised over £500,000 to carry out extensive restoration work and renovation.
Governance and eligibility for residence
Abbot's Hospital Trustee Company's legal framework of how it administers its services is determined by an Act of Parliament: the Hospital of the Blessed Trinity (Guildford) Charity Scheme Confirmation Act 1953 as modified by subsequent schemes of regulation, which includes receiving periodic residential satisfaction questionnaires. The Mayor of the borough, the priests of three closest Anglican parishes and the Headmaster of the Royal Grammar School, Guildford are governors and thereby trustees; as too are two appointed by Guildford Borough Council and the remainder are persons residing or carrying on business in or near the Borough of Guildford co-opted by the Board, subject to the approval of the Archbishop of Canterbury - the Hospital's official visitor. A resident Master continues to be responsible for its overall supervision.
Couples were already eligible before the premises were widened, as were widowed and single elderly also are eligible, subject to meeting any one of three borough connection requirements, a ceiling on wealth and being of sufficiently good health to lead an independent life.
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