Guilds Care Building / Landmark in Challaria | World Anvil

Guilds Care

Situated just inside the town wall near Downton Gate, Guilds Care is one of the largest single building in Morton. The current building was completed in 920 MD and was built to bring together the combined hospital, hospice, alms houses and orphanages of the town's guilds. It consists of three blocks which, broadly speaking, deal with care for the orphaned children of Guild Members (the south wing), the medical treatment of Guild members (the central block) and the housing of otherwise destitute elderly guild members (the north wing).


External alterations over the years have been few, with the main change being the increased number of windows on the Downton Road facade to better match more recent architectural styles and reduce the likelihood of visitors to the town mistaking it for a prison or fortification. Gradual deterioration of the brickwork resulted in a mortar render being applied to all the exposed outer walls in the 1010's though occasional patches of the original brickwork are visible when buildings built up against it are demolished.   The original flat roof has been replaced with pitched roofing more characteristic with modern architectural style - that this effectively added a further storey was a major factor in the decision as although Morton's prosperity has generally increased over the years, so has its size and population.


Guilds Care is impressively monumental but notably plain, being built in the brown brickwork that has become common in utilitarian buildings in Morton over the following century. Although a major source of pride to the guilds the plain and unadorned facade is generally considered to be unremittingly ugly and unfitted to a major route into the town. Architectural styles and preferences change over the years and this building was built to last, to be functional and to emphasise duty and responsibility rather than glamour or fancy decoration of the sort that has grown more common in the intervening years.   The building, at five stories high is also one of the tallest in Morton (others may have an extra floor or two but not with the height of this one, or send towers that rise as fingers pointing to the sky, rather than the cliff like bulk of Guilds Care. The three sections of the building surround courtyards with few windows in the first two floors other than on the Downton Road side.


Having just celebrated its centenary the building was completed over the course of the 910's with the southern wing built first and construction progressing to the north. This resulted in the irony, noted at the time, that the first pensioner admitted to the Alms houses (the final part of the north wing to be completed) was a mason who had laid out the foundations for the South wing.
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Note to Apostrophe Pedants: The Pedantry Association of Morton had a running dispute with the Guilds of Morton over the placing of apostrophes. Notable in this were the greengrocers who managed feats of misuse beyond the imaginings of grammar and punctuation professionals. Eventually it was decided not to apostrophise Guilds Care, and to view the name as a statement of the fact that "The Guilds Care" rather than reflect the origins of the institution with the member support functions of the individual Guilds.


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