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Were workhouses built and run by cruel people?
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Former Leeds New Workhouse, (c) Mr Steve Novak, Ref:465075
St James' Hospital, Leeds - formerly Leeds New Workhouse built to accommodate 800 inmates and opened in 1858

Large Image

Teachers notes: Poor Relief

Worksheet: Poor relief

Students' Notes: Extract from the journal of the Wolverhampton Workhouse Master

Images by Theme - Poor relief

Teaching Idea

Were workhouses built and run by cruel people?

Ask students to look at the photograph above of the former Leeds New Workhouse and then look through the Images by theme 'Poor Relief' for images of other workhouses. Ask them to write down their impressions of the buildings and look for any common features. Students can then use information taken from the image captions, Teachers' notes, the Workhouse website and a Workhouse masters journal to find evidence for and against the question and record it in the table provided in the worksheet. They could use this evidence to produce a piece of persuasive writing or for a group debate.

Learning Aims and Outcomes

Prior Knowledge

  • Some knowledge of the Old Poor Law and reasons for reform

Extended Learning and Useful Links


Copyright: English Heritage NMR
Reference: N/A
Location: N/A Date Taken: N/A
Period: N/A
Keywords: poor, law, relief, social, welfare
Images By Theme:

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