24 February 2011

Workhouse

Once again a photo of another service in Winchester that was closed and turned into a housing estate - although this originally used the be the Workhouse, so I can't really say we miss it!

The Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 led to the building of a large number of workhouses as the law meant that no able-bodied person could get poor relief unless they went to live in a workhouse. The Winchester Union workhouse was built in 1836, an infirmary was later added and in 1912 a large nurses' home was erected at the south of the workhouse. In 1930 the workhouse finally closed and the hospital became known as St Paul's Hospital after the nearby church. 
 
The hospital closed in 1998 and was converted into houses and apartments, incorporating some of the original buildings. The tall chimney, the only one remaining in Winchester, was retained and is a well-known landmark. Below is a photo of the original workhouse.

21 comments:

  1. I had to look up that term (workhouse) because I wasn't familiar with it. I like when I see a picture like this that I get to enjoy but also learn something new! This looks like a place that would be interesting to walk around the grounds.

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  2. Sometimes our history tells grim tales. But your photo is lovely. And thanks for the info.

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  3. A friend of mine has a house in that building, it's absolutely beautiful inside.

    However, she says that in the part of it that was used as an orphanage, people who live there can still hear the sounds of crying babies - even when there are no babies living there!

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  4. She's too sensible a person to look as spooked as she did - she said that quite a few people had heard it!

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  5. There was a home there for unmarried mothers I expect their babies cry. Unwed mums didnt get to keep their babes back then.When I worked there it was the live in nurses house. The nurses said it was spooky there.
    The back stairs of the ward I worked on were haunted by a nurse who carried a big bunch of keys. On one occasion I heard keys jangling, I opened the door to find no one there just an empty stairway.

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    1. omg..I just came across this post...I was in there..it was haunted..it seems to have gone now, I cannot find it...it was called St Bartholomews I was there in 1960

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    2. please post and keep in touch...this is really strange how I came across this post...I can verify what you say..I had my son there in 1960

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    3. My dad was also born her in 1960, to a Winifred Eastwood

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  6. I shall have to tell my friend that - she used to be a nurse.

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  7. In 1963 I had my son there, and he was adopted, I was 16. Today I am meeting him for the first time!!!All the cleaning and laundry (in huge deep white sinks) was done by us mums, skirting boards had to be scrubbed EVERY day. We were allowed one visit from a relative a week and allowed out of the home to go to the shops once a week. I recall it was run by 3 women one of whom was a young nurse. We had school lessons a couple of times a week.

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  8. It must have been a very strange time for you - but how interesting! They certainly wanted to keep you busy.

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  9. P.S. I do hope it goes well for you - fingers crossed!

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  10. Really fascinating history, thanks so much for posting! I hope you meeting went well.

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  11. Yes, it went incredibly well, now have 2 grand sons, and an extended family - Very lucky woman

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  12. I worked there. The back stairs were haunted and we heard some one rattling keys in the door,I opened the door and no one was there.

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  13. When I was a child I went to playgroup at St Pauls Church (about 1986/87) and one day we were all out playing on the gravel area in front of the church hall and I saw a man scrambling down the hill towards the road from the Hospital/Workhouse above. There was a man and a nurse (in old fashioned uniform) at the top of the bank trying to get the man to come back, I tried to get the attention of one of the supervisors keeping an eye on us and by the time I looked back and they looked everyone had vanished. The staff spoke together and thought I had been making it up and had a vivid imagination to this day I don't know it what I saw was real or not.
    Does anyone know if the hospital/workhouse had patients and staff during 1986/7 or had it closed by then?

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  14. My dad was born here in 1960. His sister a few years later, we can't find her sadly.

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