Info on 1000s of former homes

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 sidebar or Search box to find information.
JUST PUBLISHED — the Children's Homes book surveys the wide range of institutions that, over the centuries, were used as a substitute for children's 'natural' homes. As well as charitably funded orphanages, these included homes run by religious or occupational groups, institutions for those who had broken the law or otherise gone astray, establishments for children with special needs, homes run by the poor law authorities, and by local councils. This fascinating and copiously illustrated volume answers questions such as: Who founded and ran all these institutions? Who paid for them? Where have they all gone? What was life like for their inmates? And where can their records be found? Illustrated throughout, Children's Homes provides an essential account of the previously neglected history of these British institutions. More details...

Just Out! Pauper Policies: Poor Law Practice in England, 1780-1850 by Samantha Shave. Essential reading for anyone interested in welfare, poverty and society in 18/19th century England, and those who want to understand the early workings of the welfare system. More....

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

Voices From The Workhouse is a wide-ranging collection of first-hand accounts of the workhouse by those who knew it. Includes autobiography, letters, poetry, graffiti, inspection reports etc. — by inmates, staff, officials,and under-cover explorers. More....

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

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The Workhouse Encyclopedia. A fully illustrated A to Z of workhouse information plus fact-filled appendices of workhouse locations, statistics, maps, records, museums etc.

The Victorian Slum: Common Lodging Houses and Model Dwellings

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

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