Site of Southam Union Workhouse

Description of this historic site

The site of Southam Union Workhouse which was used to house the poor during the Imperial period. It is marked on the Ordnance Survey map of 1885 and was situated 400m north west of the church.

Notes about this historic site

1 Workhouse marked on 1885 map.
2 Southam Poor Law Union was formed on 30th April 1836. The Southam Board of Guardians held their first meeting on 2nd May 1836 and appointed a committee to instigate the setting up of a new workhouse. On the 9th of May, the committee recommended that the new building be erected on the site of the former House of Industry which was situated to the north-west of Southam on the south side of Welsh Road. On May 31st, the Clerk was instructed to advertise for plans for a workhouse for 180-200 persons. On the 4th July, plans submitted by John Plowman were adopted subject to approval by the Poor Law Commissioners who duly authorised an expenditure of £3,600. The new workhouse, erected in 1837, was a plain red-brick building building. Its plan followed the popular cruciform or “square” design with accommodation wings emanating from a central hub dividing the site into separate yards for the different classes of inmate (old/young, male/female). After 1912, the workhouse became officially known as the Southam Poor Law Institution. In 1923, the Rural District Council accepted a tender of £1,240 from FG Watson of Southam for converting the building into dwellings. Southam Primary School now stands on the site.

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