Storytellers from The Workhouse

Three volunteer storytellers dressed as female paupers preparing food at a kitchen table

Please note, this service is currently paused. The Workhouse Storytellers are a group of volunteers with an enthusiasm for sharing tales of the building's former occupants. Each story is inspired by Workhouse records - census documents, punishment and medical records and correspondence with the Poor Law Commissioners in London.

Your story experience

The Workhouse Storytellers can be booked to perform at your group, society or organisation venue. The tales are designed to challenge 21st-century audiences, leaving them keen to explore The Workhouse further.
Meet characters from The Workhouse's past and find out what made them happy and sad, how staff and inmates interacted with one another and how it might have felt to enter The Workhouse starving, cold and penniless.
The style and length of each session will be tailored to your requirements. We will choose stories to suit the audience’s needs and interests. Many of the more amusing tales are especially entertaining for younger listeners.
  • Area covered: East Midlands
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Cost: £75 + mileage
  • Get in touch to check that your location is covered and for a quote on mileage.


Meet Sarah Godson, a feisty pauper who infamously bared her bottom in church. Discover why John turns to The Workhouse for help and whether this help is a blessing or a curse.
Hear about Joe’s struggle to adapt to life in The Workhouse and share in his attempt to escape to be with his sister. Find out about The Workhouse’s Matron. Does her new position elevate her standing in society?


  • 'We enjoyed the very professional way in which the stories were presented. Very informative.' - Bolsover Townswomen's Guild
  • 'Would highly recommend to other groups seeking a different kind of speaker. Thank you very much to all concerned.' - Nottingham Parkinson's UK
  • 'We appreciated the historical insight into life in The Workhouse through the eyes of those in charge and the poor souls who lived there.' - Heighington Lives

Storytelling events

You can see The Storytellers perform as part of special events at The Workhouse.
We also have a team of speakers who can give talks on Southwell Workhouse at your group venue. 

How to book

Please get in touch for further information or to make a booking, call 01636 817260 or send us an email.