New beginnings at The Workhouse - Past, Present and Future

The front of The Workhouse buidling against a bright blue sky

It is 22 years since The Workhouse came into the care of the National Trust and 20 since the acquisition of Firbeck Infirmary. In 2019 you will see some exciting changes when you visit.

The Workhouse in Nottinghamshire is the most complete 19th-century workhouse in existence, built in 1824 as a refuge for the destitute. This year, visitors will be able to see the results of a five-year Re-imagining project. 

When the site re-opens on 23 April, visitors can expect a new experience with a new Visitor hub, recreated spaces and a new layout within the original Workhouse building as well as access to multi-media hand held devices. These devices are triggered when held over specific objects within The Workhouse and tell the story of past inmates.  

New multi-media devices at The Workhouse
Hands gripping a bright orane electronci device
New multi-media devices at The Workhouse

Events, activities and arts programmes are also planned to engage our wide audience of visitors as well as encourage discussion around poverty and social health care provision in the past, present and future. 

From July 2019, Firbeck Infirmary (alongside the Workhouse building and previously not fully accessible to the public) will be recreated with different spaces to chart how it might have looked at its start in the 1870s, to a later 1970s care ward, and including the room used by the last resident when the building finally closed its doors in the late 1980s. A library space will be available to explore Workhouse records including census returns, statistics and inspector’s reports along with workhouse reference books and genealogy books available to browse.

Unexplored areas of Firbeck will now be open to the public
Front of Firbeck Infirmary against a blue sky
Unexplored areas of Firbeck will now be open to the public

Join us in 2019 and experience the new layout at The Workhouse. Share your own experiences and get involved in today’s debates around poverty and welfare.

" We want to protect and enhance this special place so it can be explored by current and future generations. Once re-opened, The Workhouse will move visitors to understand more about the history of poverty and welfare, teaching us about our own links to the past. "
- Sara Blair Manning, General Manager at The Workhouse