Trust Day Visit to The Workhouse at Southwell
Sunday 5th July 2020
Ken Clayton has arranged a group visit to The Workshouse in Southwell
in Nottinghamshire. Built
in 1824, The Workhouse is the best preserved example of the hundreds
of workhouses built across the country. The system implemented here
was developed by the Reverend John T. Becher and George Nicholls whose
ideas shaped the way in which the poor were treated during the 19th
Becher's idea was
for local parishes to combine funds and build a workhouse to house
the destitute rather than each parish supporting individuals with
food, fuel and clothing. Up to 158 inmates at a time, from 62 parishes,
entered this building as a last resort. Becher's view was that workhouses
should be a 'deterrent' to ensure that only the truly destitute would
submit themselves to such a harsh regime.
It was also intended to achieve a 'moral' improvement, with the poor
providing for themselves if at all possible. However, children and
the 'old and infirm' would be treated tenderly.
With the advent of the modern welfare system in 1948, the building's
use changed, providing temporary homeless accommodation until 1976.
It was mainly used for staff accommodation and storage until the 1980s
while the rest of the site became a residential home for the elderly.
No part of the event is timed and it is not a rally or a competitive
event. Please avoid driving in convoys as this can cause frustration
with other road users. The event is open to members of the V8 Register
- MG Car Club and their friends with MGV8s or other MGs.
If you have any special
dietary requirements or needs please let the Event Organiser know
in advance of your visit.
Workhouse vegetable garden
It has always played an important role in the lives of inmates,
be it labouring in the garden, spreading night soil or harvesting
produce. Today, visitors can sample the plentiful supply of vegetables
while reflecting on their visit to The Workhouse.
How do I join the visit to The Workhouse at Southwell?
To join the visit, contact Ken Clayton and book a place. Please
note this Booking Form must be completed and returned to the
Organisers of the event.
Download a Booking Form
and Cafe open from 10.30am.
A group visit with
guided tour to be arranged from 11.30am onwards. Further details will
be available nearer the time.
National Trust Members: FREE
Non N.T. Members: £12.30 (adults) £6.15 for non-members
Picnic site available
but weather dependant.
Ken Clayton says "we
visited several years ago and thoroughly enjoyed our time there. I
think the visit will offer a unique insight into life in a workhouse".
Ken Clayton & Carol Fletcher
inside the workhouse
Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist painted a bleak picture of life
in the workhouse. Here in this rural workhouse at Southwell, we show
that, although harsh and monotonous, conditions for poor people may
have been better there than life on the outside.
inside the workhouse
Where is The Workhouse at Southwell and how do I get there?
Satnav: NG25 0PT
Directions and a maps: 8 miles south-east of Chesterfield; via A6175.
Leave the M1 exit 29 and follow the brown signs. Map
Bookings made by fellow members
Carol Fletcher & Ken Clayton
Lesley Smith & Victor Smith
Mark & Lynn Peters