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Workhouses of the Midlands

Workhouses of the Midlands

Higginbotham, Peter

The last of England's workhouses closed in the 1930s and since then, change has been vast. This book features over 100 archive images of Midlands workhouses. With detailed histories of the establishments in various countries of the Midlands, it illustrates various facets of the workhouse's evolution

Paperback, Book. English.
Published Stroud: Tempus, 2007
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Statement of responsibility: Peter Higginbotham
ISBN: 0752444883, 9780752444888
Note: Paperback.
Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Physical Description: 127 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
Series: Images of England
Subject: Workhouses England Midlands History.
Series Title: Images of England.


The workhouse system officially ended in 1930, and the world in now a very different place. Many former workhouse buildings have vanished; the survivors, ironically, have often been converted into luxurious houses and flats, and their original purpose forgotten. Yet the memory of the nightmarish austerity of the workhouses, as well as the inmates who lived and laboured there, has never faded. Featuring more than 100 evocative images of workhouses from across the Midlands, from Derbyshire all the way through to Oxfordshire, this book provides a rare pictorial record of both.

With section providing detailed histories of the establishment in each area, this book illustrates almost every facet of the evolution of the workhouse.

The controversial issues of education for children born into destitution and corporal punishment are also punishment presented here, reflecting much wider social attitudes and contemporary political thought. With descriptions of the inmates' daily routine and exhausting labour - which included bone crushing, stone breaking, corn grinding and oakum picking - Workhouses of the Midlands provides a unique insight into the regimented lifestyle of the workhouse and a history that should never be forgotten.