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Atmospheric 19th-century workhouse

Follow in the footsteps of the Victorian poor as they sought refuge at The Workhouse. This austere building, the most complete workhouse in existence, was built in 1824 as a place of last resort for the poor and needy. Its architecture was influenced by prison design and its harsh regime became a blueprint for workhouses throughout the country. You can immerse yourself in the building’s unique atmosphere and learn about the daily routine of those who lived and worked here in the 1840s, while reflecting on how society has tackled poverty through the centuries.

Meet the Reverend Becher, the founder of the Workhouse, by watching the introductory film and immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere evoked by the audio guide. Based on real archive records, the audio guide helps bring the 19th-century inhabitants back to life.

Explore the segregated work yards, day rooms, dormitories, master's quarters and cellars and then discover the recreated working 19th-century garden and find out what food the paupers would have eaten.

Summer at The Workhouse

It's not all hard graft at The Workhouse this August. We've got some summer treats with Family Craft Days every Wednesday, Pop-up Paupers every weekend and special Pauper Family Tours on Sundays. Enjoy a picnic in the Victorian vegetable garden whilst listening to pauper tales. Download picnic ideas here and start planning your visit.

What's on

We've got an exciting range of events to suit all ages. Join us for living history days, storytelling, special tours and family focused activities.

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.