On 18th May 1654 a Mr. William Harvey left an estate which was vested in feoffees (a group of trustees appointed to manage an endowed institution) upon trust, that the rents and profits should be applied for repairing and maintaining a bridge, called the Stone Bridge, at the east end of Somersham over a brook called Cranbrook, and leading from Somersham to Colne and that any surplus should be spent for repairs of the Churchway, leading from the bridge to Somersham Church, or some other public and charitable use within the parish.
The estate Mr Harvey conveyed to a charity that was set up to be known as The Harvey’s Charity but now known locally as Somersham Feoffees, comprised around 12 acres of land in Somersham Fen let as allotments, around 8 acres of land on Somersham Heath, two houses in the High Street, about 1 acre of allotment land in the High Street and land in Colne Road let as allotments.
Over the years much of the land has been sold off and the monies invested, and all that remains in Trust today, are the Colne Road allotments and Heathfield. The income from the investments together with the rents from the remaining land allows the trustees of the Somersham Feoffees Charity to give financial help to charities that serve the village of Somersham and also to the Somersham churches.
An application form for funding can be downloaded here or further details may be obtained from Judith Bullard, Clerk to the Harvey Feoffee Charity, on 01487 840059.