The Workhouse evokes the grim Victorian world of Oliver Twist, but its story is a fascinating mix of social history, politics, economics and architecture. This site is dedicated to the workhouse — its buildings, inmates, staff and administrators, even its poets. Use the the Search box above or the red Menu button side menu bar to find information.

NEW! Nobody's Child: The True Story of Growing up in a Yorkshire Children's Home — Gloria Urquhart's utterly compelling memoir of growing up in the 1950s in the care of Leeds Council, and the search for the baby brother she was separated from at the age of three. By turns heart-rending and heart-warming, if you liked Call the Midwife, you will love Nobody's Child. More...

Watch my workhouse videos on YouTube!.

* * * Explore a workhouse — take the Workhouse Tour! * * *

An 1861 survey detailed all 14,216 adult workhouse inmates in England & Wales resident for over five years. All the names can be viewed via a link in the 'Inmates' section towards the end of each union's individual page.

Workhouses of London and the South East documents the story of the workhouse in the capital and the historical counties of Berkshire, Kent, Middlesex, Surrey and Sussex. Includes a guide to the establishments that operated in each locality and over 100 illustrations of the buildings and their inmates. More...

New! Some of my introductory presentations are now available online on my YouTube Channel

Jeremy Corbyn's great-great-grandfather was the despotic master of the Farnham workhouse.

Know about workhouses? — try the Workhouse Quiz.

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The Victorian Slum: Common Lodging Houses and Model Dwellings

For information on 1000s of children's homes, orphanages, reformatories, industrial schools, training ships etc. visit

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