Site of Workhouse, Spring Lane, Kenilworth

Description of this historic site

The site of the workhouse which housed the poor of the parish during the Imperial period. A building and two fields called 'Workhouse Close' and 'Workhouse Land' are marked on an Estate Map of 1781. The probable remains of the workhouse were revealed during excavation at The Blundells, Albion Street, Kenilworth.

Notes about this historic site

1 A building is shown here on a 1781 Estate map, and two pieces of land immediately adjoining and behind it are called ‘Workhouse Close’ and ‘Workhouse Land’.
2 The South Warwickshire Bulletin contains a copy of Workhouse Committee Orders, 1797-1813.
3 There is no sign of the site now, and the land holds the Kenilworth Working Men’s Club.
4 Archaeological evaluation and subsequent excavation recorded three parallel sandstone walls and associated surfaces which formed a building approximately 7.4m by 3m. The majority of the dateable material retrieved pointed to an 18th century origin for this building, and as such, it seemed the most probable interpretation was that of the workhouse commissioned in 1726, or that of the later workhouse built in 1787. Several periods of robbing activity, levelling and terracing, had led to a great degree of truncation, particularly in the northern part of the site. It was almost certain that the standing sections of the brick and sandstone walls that bound the development area, and the neighbouring Kenilworth Sports and Social Club site, related to the workhouse. In particular a bricked up hatchway that was alleged to have been used for feeding bread to the poor was visible on Albion Street.

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