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Sir Stephen Fox was born in the village of Farley Wiltshire in 1627, and his life contains more story than some famous contemporaries. He rose to become the royal administrator and courtier to King Charles II, Paymaster of the forces, a politician and the “richest commoner in the three kingdoms.”  

Sir Stephen commissioned and funded the building of Farley Hospital, now a Grade 1 listed building that was completed in 1681. It was constructed by Alexander Fort who was master builder to Sir Christopher Wren. Fox and Wren collaborated on various other buildings including the Royal Hospital at Chelsea. 

A Great Book was started when the building opened to record the annual accounts of the Hospital. We still use the Great Book to record annual accounts and information. Sir Stephen completed the first page and it contains a continuous record of activity in the building from then until now. 

Our work so far

Please check back here regularly as we are going to be sharing digital snippets of the history of our exceptional building on this website.

The first substantial thing we can share is a book titled Life of Sir Stephen Fox. We have set it up as an interactive book, so have a brows through this interesting text.