Christmas at The Workhouse

Pauper character peers through window at decorated Christmas tree

Join us for a special Christmas at The Workhouse which this year takes place over two days, Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 December 11- 4 pm. We will be celebrating highlights from the past year as well as traditional seasonal favourites for visitors to enjoy.

For many visitors The Workhouse Christmas marks the beginning of their seasonal celebrations with many returning year on year. If you haven’t visited The Workhouse before you can still find out more about the history and Christmas traditions on a mini tour or by listening to Workhouse characters who will be wandering through the house.

Seasonal highlights

Come and stir the figgy pudding while listening to the paupers in the kitchen, see rag rugs being made or sit in on a Christmas themed school lesson. Gather round the fire and listen to stories from ‘The Voices of the poor’, accounts of life in the institution. Children can explore the building while having a go at completing the Twelve Days of Christmas trail.

Master and a pauper stir the figgy pudding in the kitchen
Master and pauper stir figgy pudding in kitchen

On a musical note

The Workhouse choir, accompanied by the harmonium, will be encouraging visitors to sing along to traditional carols. Southwell Minster Girls' Choir, will be performing on Saturday at 3pm.

The Workhouse choir in fine voice at Christmas
The pauper choir singing xmas carols

Christmas crafts

Children’s crafts will be on offer with cornucopias, Christingles and lantern-making among the Victorian themed activities. Create a paper bird, write a seasonal message and hang it on the Christmas tree. Make your own lantern and then join in the procession down the paupers’ path at 3.30pm each day.

Winner revealed

The overall winner of the year-long exhibition ‘The History of The Workhouse in 20 objects’ will be announced and all the winners from the four rounds will be on show. Have a look and see if the winner got your vote?

Seasonal refreshments

The café will be open for the duration of the event and mulled wine and mince pies will also be available. The shop will be stocked with seasonal goods to cater for any last minute gift ideas.

Celebrating our partners and volunteers

Some of the partner organisations who have worked with The Workhouse over the past year on the ‘What is Home?’ theme will be contributing to the Christmas event. The Bare Project, the creative fellows for the year, will show film clips of their multi-sensory performance ‘Dangerous or Otherwise’ created in association with Newark Emmaus Trust. Young people from Minster View, the local children’s home, will be making a creative contribution and once again there will be a foodbank, this year in aid of Newark Emmaus Trust.

We will also be celebrating the contribution made by Workhouse volunteers over the year. Their wide-ranging skills and relentless enthusiasm enable us to deliver the varied programme of activities. Maybe you will be inspired to make a New Year’s resolution to join them?

Please book tickets priced £5 by calling 0344 249 1895 or follow this link to book tickets online.

A visitor leaves their Christmas message
Handwritten message from visitor from last year's Xmas event