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Wednesday 13 May 2015

This blog was written by Laura, one of our Heritage Volunteers

As part of the Nottingham CVS heritage project we were lucky enough this week to be given an informative performance by the Southwell Workhouse Storytellers.

As well as the sorry tales of three residents, we also heard from the matron of the workhouse, who told us about her duties and what was provided for the inmates.

Southwell Workhouse storytellers
Hearing from the Southwell Workhouse storytellers

These fascinating tales kept our attention throughout. Interestingly, these stories also taught us that some people would fluctuate back and forth from the workhouse depending on their circumstances. This was an important message, as before hearing from the Storytellers many of us had expected that once that people were admitted to the workhouse they were there for life.

Afterwards, Alison had well planned-out activities to finish the session.

We discovered that some of the places we know today were once workhouses, whether during or at the very end of this period. The modern-day City Hospital, Highbury Hospital, Victoria bus station, and Hartley Road in Radford are all places that I’m familiar with, and it was quite hard-hitting to think about what once went on there.

You can find out more about Nottingham’s Victorian workhouses here.


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