The Workhouse, Southwell

The Workhouse, Southwell Built in 1824, Southwell Workhouse is the best preserved workhouse in England. A place of despair or a beacon of hope? Visit and decide for yourself.

Discover the most complete workhouse in existence. Find out about the Reverend Becher, the founder of The Workhouse and immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere of the building. Learn about the true stories of the 19th-century poor, brought to life by real archive evidence. Discover how society dealt with poverty through the centuries right up to the modern day. Explore the segregated work yards,

Discover the most complete workhouse in existence. Find out about the Reverend Becher, the founder of The Workhouse and immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere of the building. Learn about the true stories of the 19th-century poor, brought to life by real archive evidence. Discover how society dealt with poverty through the centuries right up to the modern day. Explore the segregated work yards,

Operating as usual

Look who paid us a visit today! We did have to tell him that unfortunately gruel has been off the menu for a while now…
04/09/2021

Look who paid us a visit today! We did have to tell him that unfortunately gruel has been off the menu for a while now…

Look who paid us a visit today! We did have to tell him that unfortunately gruel has been off the menu for a while now…

On Saturday 11 September we’ll be taking part in Heritage Open Day and admission will be FREE for all visitors! Walk up ...
02/09/2021

On Saturday 11 September we’ll be taking part in Heritage Open Day and admission will be FREE for all visitors!

Walk up pauper’s path and discover what life was like for the people who sought refuge here. Meet a costumed interpreter, chat to a room guide, take a tour (limited spaces), complete a children’s trail and learn the stories of the people who lived and worked here.

Our current exhibitions include:

🎨 ’Do It Different’ showcasing the Factory Art School and Do It Different Projects, which stemmed from the experiences of people historically connected to The Workhouse

🧵 The Women’s Quilt and The Leighann Wightman Quilt which focus on domestic abuse

👩‍⚕️The Florence Nightingale exhibition

On Saturday 11 September we’ll be taking part in Heritage Open Day and admission will be FREE for all visitors!

Walk up pauper’s path and discover what life was like for the people who sought refuge here. Meet a costumed interpreter, chat to a room guide, take a tour (limited spaces), complete a children’s trail and learn the stories of the people who lived and worked here.

Our current exhibitions include:

🎨 ’Do It Different’ showcasing the Factory Art School and Do It Different Projects, which stemmed from the experiences of people historically connected to The Workhouse

🧵 The Women’s Quilt and The Leighann Wightman Quilt which focus on domestic abuse

👩‍⚕️The Florence Nightingale exhibition

At The Workhouse, we tell the stories of the many people who lived, worked, and interacted with the site. We love readin...
28/08/2021

At The Workhouse, we tell the stories of the many people who lived, worked, and interacted with the site. We love reading people’s creative responses to their visits, and found this poem arranged in our cafe area ✍️

At The Workhouse, we tell the stories of the many people who lived, worked, and interacted with the site. We love reading people’s creative responses to their visits, and found this poem arranged in our cafe area ✍️

Happy #InternationalDogDay! Today gives us the perfect excuse to show you this photo of Florence and Arthur Willatt, com...
26/08/2021

Happy #InternationalDogDay!

Today gives us the perfect excuse to show you this photo of Florence and Arthur Willatt, complete with canine companion! The Willatts were Master and Matron of the workhouse from 1925 to 1930 🐕

Happy #InternationalDogDay!

Today gives us the perfect excuse to show you this photo of Florence and Arthur Willatt, complete with canine companion! The Willatts were Master and Matron of the workhouse from 1925 to 1930 🐕

Step back in time and join Reverend John T. Becher, founder of The Workhouse, on a re-enactment tour of Southwell.Follow...
09/08/2021

Step back in time and join Reverend John T. Becher, founder of The Workhouse, on a re-enactment tour of Southwell.

Follow Becher on a historical two-mile walking tour of Southwell as he highlights his connections with the town as a churchman, magistrate and social reformer during a period of great economic, social and political change.

Walks take place every Wednesday 10.45am - 12.45pm. Price as part of normal admission or £4 if not visiting The Workhouse (free for members).

The walk includes pavements and tracks with uneven ground, not suitable for wheelchairs. Walks are limited to groups of 10; please phone 01636 817260 to book.

Step back in time and join Reverend John T. Becher, founder of The Workhouse, on a re-enactment tour of Southwell.

Follow Becher on a historical two-mile walking tour of Southwell as he highlights his connections with the town as a churchman, magistrate and social reformer during a period of great economic, social and political change.

Walks take place every Wednesday 10.45am - 12.45pm. Price as part of normal admission or £4 if not visiting The Workhouse (free for members).

The walk includes pavements and tracks with uneven ground, not suitable for wheelchairs. Walks are limited to groups of 10; please phone 01636 817260 to book.

We’ve been spending some time this morning with the bees in our workhouse garden! These bumblebees have been enjoying th...
31/07/2021

We’ve been spending some time this morning with the bees in our workhouse garden! These bumblebees have been enjoying the hyssop and marjoram. 🐝

We’ve been spending some time this morning with the bees in our workhouse garden! These bumblebees have been enjoying the hyssop and marjoram. 🐝

We’re delighted to welcome you back to The Workhouse from tomorrow! The Workhouse is open for visits from Wednesday to S...
27/07/2021

We’re delighted to welcome you back to The Workhouse from tomorrow! The Workhouse is open for visits from Wednesday to Sunday inclusive. Opening times are 10:30am until 3:30pm, no need to book!

We’re delighted to welcome you back to The Workhouse from tomorrow! The Workhouse is open for visits from Wednesday to Sunday inclusive. Opening times are 10:30am until 3:30pm, no need to book!

23/07/2021

Staff shortages, due partly to some staff self-isolating and awaiting results, mean that the The Workhouse is temporarily closed.

23/07/2021

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the site is closed until further notice. Please do not visit today, and we will update our social media as soon as we are open again.

We're pleased to announce that from today, you no longer need to pre-book your visits to The Workhouse. We look forward ...
19/07/2021

We're pleased to announce that from today, you no longer need to pre-book your visits to The Workhouse. We look forward to welcoming you whenever you choose to visit us.

Find opening information on our website: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/the-workhouse-southwell

We're pleased to announce that from today, you no longer need to pre-book your visits to The Workhouse. We look forward to welcoming you whenever you choose to visit us.

Find opening information on our website: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/the-workhouse-southwell

We have an exciting opportunity available for someone with a passion for sharing stories of the work of the National Tru...
29/06/2021

We have an exciting opportunity available for someone with a passion for sharing stories of the work of the National Trust, across a range of interesting properties.

Working with our internal consultancy team, we're looking for a Senior Marketing and Communications Officer to lead on delivering our strategy at three National Trust properties; Gunby Hall and Gardens, Tattershall Castle and here at The Workhouse.

Find out more & apply on our website - https://careers.nationaltrust.org.uk/OA_HTML/a/?_ga=2.29738491.558486661.1564650772-1271924333.1564650772#/vacancy-detail/104586

We have an exciting opportunity available for someone with a passion for sharing stories of the work of the National Trust, across a range of interesting properties.

Working with our internal consultancy team, we're looking for a Senior Marketing and Communications Officer to lead on delivering our strategy at three National Trust properties; Gunby Hall and Gardens, Tattershall Castle and here at The Workhouse.

Find out more & apply on our website - https://careers.nationaltrust.org.uk/OA_HTML/a/?_ga=2.29738491.558486661.1564650772-1271924333.1564650772#/vacancy-detail/104586

If you look closely at many of the outside walls at The Workhouse, you'll be able to spot historic graffiti. One of the ...
19/06/2021

If you look closely at many of the outside walls at The Workhouse, you'll be able to spot historic graffiti. One of the most useful pieces of graffiti is a sun dial in the Able-Bodied Men's Exercise Yard, which on a sunny day can still be used.

As the shadow under the window ledge moves, see if you can count the lines to tell the time. There's a lot of graffiti in this yard as parts of the area are hidden from the watchful eyes of Master's Bedroom.

Warmer weather means insect pests start to emerge in our buildings. One of the pests we get at The Workhouse are woolly ...
17/06/2021

Warmer weather means insect pests start to emerge in our buildings.

One of the pests we get at The Workhouse are woolly bears; the larvae of carpet beetles.

Woolly bears eat keratin and can be quite fussy eaters as these curtains show. Can you spot which areas of the dyed fabric of the curtains were made with keratin in the dye?

Notice to visitors: The road approaching The Workhouse will be closed tomorrow (16th June) due to roadworks. Although th...
15/06/2021

Notice to visitors: The road approaching The Workhouse will be closed tomorrow (16th June) due to roadworks. Although the road will be closed, visitors will still be able to access the main car park by approaching from the direction of Southwell. Access will be managed by marshals.

Notice to visitors: The road approaching The Workhouse will be closed tomorrow (16th June) due to roadworks. Although the road will be closed, visitors will still be able to access the main car park by approaching from the direction of Southwell. Access will be managed by marshals.

The workhouse garden is looking beautiful in the sunshine! 🌸 ☀️
12/06/2021

The workhouse garden is looking beautiful in the sunshine! 🌸 ☀️

The workhouse garden is looking beautiful in the sunshine! 🌸 ☀️

Have you spotted the rainbow staircase on your visit to The Workhouse? Our ribbon display is a commemoration and celebra...
07/06/2021

Have you spotted the rainbow staircase on your visit to The Workhouse? Our ribbon display is a commemoration and celebration for NHS staff, home care and care home workers, family and volunteer carers.

The Workhouse and Infirmary employed its first nurse in 1871 and closed its doors in 1983 as an elderly care home.

During that time many local women were employed as carers and began their successful careers as nurses at The Workhouse and Infirmary.

We recommend booking your visit for busier times, such as weekends and school holidays. Midweek visits don't require a booking - https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/the-workhouse-southwell/whats-on

Whilst we still recommend booking your visit to The Workhouse if you're able to, we understand it's not always possible ...
28/05/2021

Whilst we still recommend booking your visit to The Workhouse if you're able to, we understand it's not always possible to plan your days.

If you'd like to visit on one of our quieter days (Wednesday - Friday), we will be able to accept walk-ins without a booking if we have space to do so.

Bookings can be made online - https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/the-workhouse-southwell/whats-on

Whilst we still recommend booking your visit to The Workhouse if you're able to, we understand it's not always possible to plan your days.

If you'd like to visit on one of our quieter days (Wednesday - Friday), we will be able to accept walk-ins without a booking if we have space to do so.

Bookings can be made online - https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/the-workhouse-southwell/whats-on

Built in 1824, The Workhouse is the best preserved example of the hundreds of workhouses built across the country. Get a...
26/05/2021

Built in 1824, The Workhouse is the best preserved example of the hundreds of workhouses built across the country.

Get a sneak peek of The Workhouse concept and what it meant for local communities ahead of your visit - https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/the-workhouse-southwell/features/the-workhouse-concept

Built in 1824, The Workhouse is the best preserved example of the hundreds of workhouses built across the country.

Get a sneak peek of The Workhouse concept and what it meant for local communities ahead of your visit - https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/the-workhouse-southwell/features/the-workhouse-concept

As well as opening the garden this week, volunteers planted our pumpkin seedlings. Although the leaves may look small no...
23/05/2021

As well as opening the garden this week, volunteers planted our pumpkin seedlings. Although the leaves may look small now, hopefully later this year there will be plenty of pumpkins.

Thank you to Brackenhurst - School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences, who have grown the pumpkins from seed until they were ready to be planted as seedlings after the last frost.

Book your visit to The Workhouse on our website - https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/events/021f7893-8d32-468d-8220-c74ce9ffa0ab/pages/details

As well as opening the garden this week, volunteers planted our pumpkin seedlings. Although the leaves may look small now, hopefully later this year there will be plenty of pumpkins.

Thank you to Brackenhurst - School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences, who have grown the pumpkins from seed until they were ready to be planted as seedlings after the last frost.

Book your visit to The Workhouse on our website - https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/events/021f7893-8d32-468d-8220-c74ce9ffa0ab/pages/details

🐝 The Workhouse had some unexpected visitors this week, in the form of a swarm of honey bees. The bees decided that one ...
21/05/2021

🐝 The Workhouse had some unexpected visitors this week, in the form of a swarm of honey bees.

The bees decided that one of our outdoor table and benches were the ideal spot for their break, although our food and beverage team may disagree!

They were safely collected and our benches are now bee-free.

If you'd like a bee-free visit this coming week, tickets are now available - https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/events/021f7893-8d32-468d-8220-c74ce9ffa0ab/pages/details

🐝 The Workhouse had some unexpected visitors this week, in the form of a swarm of honey bees.

The bees decided that one of our outdoor table and benches were the ideal spot for their break, although our food and beverage team may disagree!

They were safely collected and our benches are now bee-free.

If you'd like a bee-free visit this coming week, tickets are now available - https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/events/021f7893-8d32-468d-8220-c74ce9ffa0ab/pages/details

As part of our annual deep clean, over the last few months all the historic buildings on site have been cleaned from top...
16/05/2021

As part of our annual deep clean, over the last few months all the historic buildings on site have been cleaned from top to bottom.

From the ceilings, to each window pane and everything in between, it has all been carefully cleaned by a team of staff and hardy volunteers.

Braving often very cold buildings, the team has made sure the essential conservation work has been completed ready to welcome visitors as we reopen.

Book your visit to The Workhouse on our website: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/events/9cf54f58-cd0b-4352-b690-75fbb930cc0a/pages/details

As part of our annual deep clean, over the last few months all the historic buildings on site have been cleaned from top to bottom.

From the ceilings, to each window pane and everything in between, it has all been carefully cleaned by a team of staff and hardy volunteers.

Braving often very cold buildings, the team has made sure the essential conservation work has been completed ready to welcome visitors as we reopen.

Book your visit to The Workhouse on our website: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/events/9cf54f58-cd0b-4352-b690-75fbb930cc0a/pages/details

06/05/2021

Although a little late in the morning to be classed as the dawn chorus, the birds were joyfully tweeting outside Firbeck Infirmary as the Collections and House Officer arrived on site 🪶🌳

27/04/2021

As a tribute to Malcolm Kirk, the late Southwell Community First Responder, a defibrillator has been installed at The Workhouse, Southwell where he volunteered.

The defibrillator,installed by the Southwell CFR scheme is located on the main gates and is inscribed “In memory of Malcolm Kirk”

Our blossom is always a bit of a late bloomer here at The Workhouse but it’s just in time for #BlossomWatch!
24/04/2021

Our blossom is always a bit of a late bloomer here at The Workhouse but it’s just in time for #BlossomWatch!

This Easter Sunday seemed like an egg-cellent occasion to showcase a small item in the Workhouse collection. Although it...
04/04/2021

This Easter Sunday seemed like an egg-cellent occasion to showcase a small item in the Workhouse collection. Although it is not egg-xactly whole, can you work out what this crack-ed piece of ceramic is?

This Easter Sunday seemed like an egg-cellent occasion to showcase a small item in the Workhouse collection. Although it is not egg-xactly whole, can you work out what this crack-ed piece of ceramic is?

Spring is officially here at The Workhouse! 🌸🌿
01/04/2021

Spring is officially here at The Workhouse! 🌸🌿

Spring is officially here at The Workhouse! 🌸🌿

It’s a beautiful frosty morning here in Southwell ❄️
11/02/2021

It’s a beautiful frosty morning here in Southwell ❄️

It’s a beautiful frosty morning here in Southwell ❄️

For #MuseumSelfie Day, here’s a glimpse behind the scenes at what we’ve been doing this winter. Our Collections and Hous...
20/01/2021

For #MuseumSelfie Day, here’s a glimpse behind the scenes at what we’ve been doing this winter. Our Collections and House Officer even found a friend whilst deep cleaning the cellars!

A few months ago we were excited to welcome Cerrie Burnell to our site for the filming of a new documentary, Silenced: T...
19/01/2021
BBC Two - Silenced: The Hidden Story of Disabled Britain

A few months ago we were excited to welcome Cerrie Burnell to our site for the filming of a new documentary, Silenced: The Hidden Story of Disabled People. This documentary highlights the impact workhouses had on the lives of disabled people.

You can watch the documentary on BBC2 at 21.00 and find out more here:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000rh1g

The untold story of how disabled people fought back against decades of fear and prejudice.

Amazing news from one of our Workhouse Network partners! ☺️
10/12/2020

Amazing news from one of our Workhouse Network partners! ☺️

We’ve handed over part of our iconic building to the NHS so it can be used as one of the first COVID-19 vaccination centres! 🙌

We are so unbelievably proud that Thackray Museum of Medicine is playing a huge part in the first wave of national NHS vaccination and over the last few weeks, teams from the museum, Leeds Teaching Hospitals and partners have worked around the clock to adapt the building into a fully functioning vaccination facility.

All over our museum there are objects that chronicle the story of vaccination and this collaboration is a much-needed moment for continuing the story Thackray tells, and for the people of Leeds.

nhs.uk Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust Leeds Cares Arts Council England

Workhouse reformer and writer Louisa Twining was born #OnThisDay 1820. Twining established the Workhouse Visiting Societ...
16/11/2020

Workhouse reformer and writer Louisa Twining was born #OnThisDay 1820. Twining established the Workhouse Visiting Society (1864), believing that middle-class women could improve the lives of inmates by visiting them to pray and converse.

You can read her essay 'A Paper on the Condition of Workhouses' here: https://bit.ly/2IMttOc

Address

The Workhouse, Upton Road
Southwell
NG25 0PT

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For detailed opening times >http://bit.ly/WHtimes Check out our events programme >http://bit.ly/ntwhev

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Comments

Lovely day out and a very interesting building
My drawing from February 2020
Id I’d like to thank all the staff who worked so tirelessly to ensure we had a great day out. I had a very one sided and bleak perspective on workhouses before I visited Southwell but by the end of our visit my predujices were largelly dispelled; in no small part by the information gleened from staff. Dont get me wrong Southall wasnt an hotel, but compared to the alternative, well for many an unfortunate soul it was itliterally a ‘lifesaver‘. The tablets handed out at the beginning of our visit were an excellent Idea. They interacted with each exhibit and proved another valuable source of info. But its the everyday, personal items that really made an impact on us. They helped transform nameless statistics Into real flesh and blood human beings; individuals with their very own personal histories, dreams, hopes and aspirations. Theres a lot more to see than I anticipated, including the wonderful grounds.I definitely recommend a visit.
did these today i love to draw
i hope you like them ☺️
I did this picture today for Jan who goes to the workhouse
Stay at home poem
You wanted me to keep you updated with my work 😊
Done some animals today 🌺♥️
I did this for everyone at the workhouse I do miss you 😘
An Easter picture and a spring picture all in one Hope you like it I just miss seeing everyone at the work house How's Morgan is she alright. Can u show her the picture 🥰
Thought you might like it 😊 #staysafe #missyou xx