The Workhouse….. a Compassionate idea, one that went badly wrong


Southwell Workhouse, Nottinghamshire

Southwell Workhouse, once known as the Great House, was built arround 1824.  It was created to provide secure accomodation for those homeless, out of work and in poverty.   Food and safe accomodation. In return those  living in this ‘community’, had to pay for this ‘care’, by way of collective work, including growing the community food.

It was a tough regime for those living in the Workhouse.  The sexes where separated, kept well apart. A uniform was the clothing and children kept within the female area.  Schooling was provided.

The aims may well have been charitable.   Workhouse’s became widely  adopted as a social institution.  But soon the Workhouse was a name that became, not just hated, but feared by the poor.  Tough conditions for the workhouse community got tougher,  a result of exploitation and harsh treatment, by many who ran these Workhouses Institutions, creating an environment, a long way from its original Charitable aims.

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

3rd December

(C) David Oakes 2020