A plaque over the entrance records that the almshouses were built "for Ten poor Men and Ten poor Women by the bounty of William Hickey Esq. Who by his Will bequeathed certain Lands and houses in Richmond in Trust for Charitable purposes".
1834 inscription at Hickey's Almshouses
The first houses, designed by Lewis Vulliamy, in Neo-Tudor style with high chimneys, were built in 1834 from the income of several properties on Richmond Hill, including The Wick. These properties had been left in trust by William Hickey, who died in 1727, to provide pensions for six men and ten women. In 1822 the charity's funds had been boosted by a major donation by Elizabeth Doughty.
In 1834 the trust built an additional 20 almshouses, a chapel (which was enlarged in 1863 by Arthur Blomfield), and two gate lodge cottages. The property, which includes another 29 buildings behind the almshouses, now consists of 49 flats and cottages, a laundry and a workshop.