Last Saturday we visited The Workhouse at Southwell in Nottinghamshire. Built in 1824 with architecture influenced by prison design, it was intended to be the last refuge of the destitute. Being a lover of the works of Charles Dickens and having read 'Shadows of the Workhouse' by Jennifer Worth I have been wanting to visit Southwell workhouse for a long time, so it was wonderful to finally have a chance to look around the well-preserved buildings.
The Podlings enjoyed their visit and were particularly focused on the fact that families were separated when they entered the workhouse and that children were separated from their parents. One of the volunteers told us that even Alex, at two and a half, was right on the borderline of whether he would have been allowed to stay with his mother or not. They loved the schoolroom and had endless fun with the water pump in the courtyard. In the gift shop, both of the girls spent some of their pocket money on a slate and stylus and Lily bought a whip and top, although only, I suspect, because she wanted the whip!
It was well worth the visit and I know we would like to go again at some point.
This was where the old and infirm men would eat
The kitchens where the plain and meagre food was prepared. Meat was only served three times a week and photographs showing the portions served at each meal show that everyone must have been hungry!
The Podlings loved the school room and would have loved to have played here longer
One of the able-bodied men's dormitories
The water pump was a source of much entertainment!
I loved this!