A National Trust property, The Workhouse is the best-preserved example of the hundreds of workhouses built across the country.
Built in 1824, the austere building was a place of last resort for the destitute. Its architecture was influenced by prison design and its harsh regime became a blue print for workhouses throughout the country. In its rural location, The Workhouse in Southwell was designed to house approximately 160 inmates who lived and worked in a strictly segregated environment with no contact between the old and infirm, able-bodied men, women and children.
Walking up the paupers’ path, visitors can only imagine how the Victorian poor must have felt as they sought refuge at The Workhouse. A life of drudgery was their only option to earn food, shelter and medical care.
Today, the lives of those living and working in The Workhouse is brought to life with a programme of living history events, tours and exhibitions. A great place to bring the whole family, younger visitors can take part in children’s trails, games and dressing up, with activities and crafts during school holidays.
Visitors can also enjoy the recreated Victorian vegetable garden and see inside the Firbeck Infirmary, following an extensive renovation project to restore the derelict building that once provided medical care to The Workhouse’s inhabitants.
The café provides a range of drinks and snacks and picnics are also welcome anywhere in the gardens and grounds.
The Workhouse, Southwell, Upton Road, Southwell, UK