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Atmospheric Victorian workhouse

Walking up the paupers' path towards The Workhouse it is easy to imagine how the Victorian poor might have felt as they sought refuge here. This austere building, the most complete workhouse in existence, was built in 1824 as a place of last resort for the destitute. Its architecture was influenced by prison design and its harsh regime became a blueprint for workhouses throughout the country. The stories of those who lived and worked here in the 1840s help bring the building to life and prompt reflection on how society has tackled poverty through the centuries.

The Workhouse is now closed for essential conservation work over the winter period. We look forward to welcoming you from Saturday 14 February 2015.

New year, new challenge?

If you're looking for a new challenge then volunteering with us at The Workhouse, Southwell could be for you. We're repeating our successful Taste of Volunteering event on Wednesday 4 February, 10am - 1pm. Find out more and book your place.


Workhouse events

Start planning ahead and take a look at our exciting programme of Workhouse events including living history days, storytelling, special tours and activity sessions for children.

Our collection

From slipper pans to a harmonium, our collection contains a fascinating range of objects. Browse our online collection to delve deeper into Victorian Workhouse items.

Share your thoughts

Keep up-to-date with all the latest news and share your experiences of The Workhouse on our Facebook page. View visitors' photos and add your own to our Flickr group.