Eating and shopping at The Workhouse

Display of Workhouse shop products including gifts and souvenirs

If you are looking for a souvenir of your visit, an unusual gift or want to delve deeper into workhouse history then you will find something to suit. Enjoy light refreshments and reflect on your visit in the cafe or outdoors in the adjacent seating area.

Workhouse wares

Thinking of cooking up some gruel? A Workhouse apron and tea towel could come in handy. A gruel bowl, plate and mug, made in the UK, are a perfect gift for someone who has everything.
Collectors of fridge magnets and keyrings can add to their hoard with Workhouse versions.

Creature comforts

We also have a range of National Trust homewares to freshen the look of your home, including rugs and blankets, tealight holders and kitchen accessories. Treat yourself to a jar of jam or honey from our enhanced food range or give them as a gift along with a beautiful notecard.

Special interest books

Find out more about The Workhouse and Victorian life through our books which range from the history of the privy to memoirs of a Victorian midwife.
An extensive selection of titles by workhouse expert Peter Higginbotham are also available. Why not take home a copy of The Workhouse guidebook to reflect on your visit?

Pauper mice

Take home your very own set of pauper mice. These popular collectables are named after real Workhouse inmates, each with their own story from the punishment book. The set of four cost £12 from the shop. These mice make a fantastic memento of your visit.

Green fingers?

Garden enthusiasts will find all manner of items to enhance the look of their plots. From bird-feeders to herb kits and much more besides, green-fingered visitors can seek inspiration to update their gardens whatever their size.

For children

Try your hand at a Victorian game or pastime like diabolo or practice your copperplate handwriting on your very own slate.
We've also got more modern pocket money treats. Feeling peckish? Then grab yourself a bag of traditional sweets. 

Refreshment and reflection

Visit the cafe for hot or cold drinks, soups, sandwiches, snacks and cakes. An ideal space to sit and reflect on your visit with the comfort of a hot drink. Or, if the weather is nice, take advantage of our outdoor seating area.
If you prefer, bring a picnic to enjoy in the garden or on the field where picnic benches are available. Why not try a pauper picnic or if it's a special celebration, a posh picnic might be in order.
Pauper picnic (PDF / 0.05078125MB) download
Posh picnic (PDF / 0.0537109375MB) download
Looking for something more substantial? The delightful market town of Southwell is only a mile away and has a great range of places to eat.


Fresh and seasonal

Our Workhouse garden flourishes with seasonal produce grown from heritage seed varieties. Purchase fresh produce from our vegetable barrow. Grow your own traditional herbs and plants, choose from our selection available from the shop.

Become a member

If you're not already a National Trust member, why not show your support and join here at The Workhouse? You'll receive free entry, a membership pack and contribute to a good cause.