workhouse was 19th century England’s
attempt to solve the problem of poverty.
England at this time was a thriving industrial
centre, but there was still a huge growth in
the population that meant thousands of people
lived in poverty.
Hunger, disease and squalor were a part of
everyday life for so many. The government decided to try to stop
this and make the country a better place for
the poor to live in.
Following on from the
Poor Law Act,
Poor Law Act
was passed. In it was the instruction to all
unions to build a place in which all their
poor could be housed.
Workhouses were originally meant to be places
where the poor could work in return for food
and board but the workhouse was
not a place of comfort for those who were
forced to enter them. Instead they were
institutions of terror, in which inmates were
harshly treated, put to work and made to
suffer for being a burden. They were essential
being punished for being poor, and the
workhouse served as a deterrent to being