How to look for records of... Workhouses
How can I view the records covered in this guide?
This is a brief guide to help you with your research into workhouse policy and administration. To find records of individuals in workhouses see our guide on workhouse inmates or members of staff.
What do I need to know before I start?
The Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 combined small numbers of parishes to form Poor Law Unions, each with its own workhouse. The Poor Law Unions continued until 1930. Their workhouses were designed to be harsh and unpleasant places in order to discourage people from applying for help.
To find out in which union a particular parish was, read Poor Law Union Records: 4 Gazetteer of England and Wales by Gibson and Young.