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Kington Workhouse

Kingswood Hall

Historic Environment Record reference no. 25906, Ordnance Survey grid reference SO 2975 5585

Kington Poor Law Union was formed on 25 August 1836. It had a Board of 29 Guardians from the 26 parishes that made up the Union.

The Board of Guardians first met on 26 August 1836, and a Building Committee, responsible for finding a site and building a workhouse, was formed on 30 August. The Clerk of the Board was instructed to advertise for tenders for the building of a workhouse for 150 to 250 inmates. The successful tender came from Mr. H. J. Whitling who quoted for a building for 180 residents.

Mr Whitling had built the workhouses at Clun, Bridport and East Retford, all in other counties. The Kington Union Workhouse was built in 1837 on a site to the south of the town of Kington. The workhouse was built to the cruciform design with an entrance block to the east. Behind the entrance block were four separate wings for different groups of inmates: male; female; old; and young.

In 1963 the buildings were re-designed as Kingswood Nursing Home. It is now used as offices for the South Marches Housing Association, and the shape of the buildings has been much altered.

The dietary provisions for Kington Workhouse were:


  Bread Gruel Meat Potatoes Soup Bread Pudding Bread Cheese Broth
Sun 6oz 1.5pts 5oz 1lb -- -- -- 6oz^ 1.5oz --
Mon 6oz Broth -- -- 1.5pts 3oz* -- 6oz^ 1.5oz --
Tues 6oz 1.5pts -- -- -- -- 14oz" 6oz^ 1.5oz --
Wed 6oz 1.5pts 5oz 1lb -- -- -- 6oz^ 1.5oz --
Thur 6oz Broth -- -- 1.5pts 3oz* -- 6oz^ 1.5oz --
Fri 6oz 1.5pts -- -- -- -- 14oz" 6oz^ -- 1pt
Sat 6oz 1.5pts -- -- 1.5pts 3oz* -- 6oz^ 1.5oz --

* or ½ lb of potatoes, " women had 12oz, ^ women had 5oz.

Old people (i.e. over 60 years of age) were allowed one ounce of tea, five ounces of butter and seven ounces of sugar per week instead of gruel.

(Records of the Board of Guardians for Kington Union: Hereford Record Office, K42)

[Original author: Miranda Greene, 2003]