A parish workhouse was erected at Eastington in 1785.
Wheatenhurst Poor Law Union was formed on 21st September 1835. Its operation was overseen by an elected Board of Guardians, 18 in number, representing its 14 constituent parishes as listed below (figures in brackets indicate numbers of Guardians if more than one):
Gloucestershire: Arlingham (2), Brockthrop, Eastington (3), Frampton-on-Severn (2), Fretherne, Frocester, Hardwicke, Harescombe, Longney, Noreton Valance, Saul, Standish, Valance, Wheatenhurst or Whitminster.
The population falling within the Union at the 1831 census had been 7,770 — ranging from Brockthrop (population 65) to Eastington (1,770) and Wheatenhurst itself (423). The average annual poor-rate expenditure for the period 1833-35 had been £3,606 or 9s.3d. per head.
The Wheatenhurst Board of Guardians decided to use the existing Eastington building as the new Union workhouse. It was enlarged in 1836, with Mr Fulljames as the architect. In 1838, the Poor Law Commissioners authorized the sum of £887 for building work.
The main block of the workhouse was three storeys high and gives the impression of originally having been two separate parallel ranges. The workhouse location and layout can be seen on the 1901 map below.
In 1930, the establishment became a Public Assistance Institution under the management of Gloucestershire County Coucil, and was later The Willows old pople's home. In mor recent times, the premises have been used as a care home for those with learning diffculties..
Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.
- Gloucestershire Archives, Clarence Row, Alvin Street, Gloucester GL1 3DW. Holdings include Guardians' minute books (1835-1930); Admissions and discharges (1836-44); Births (1836-1913); etc.
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