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Ledbury Union Workhouse

Orchard Lane

Historic Environment Record reference no. 19848, Ordnance Survey grid reference SO 7080 3870

This building is marked as a workhouse on the 1887 First Edition Ordnance Survey map and the 1841 Tithe Map. The Ledbury Poor Law Union was formed on 2nd June 1836. It was overseen by a Board of Guardians, 27 in total from the 22 parishes that made up the Union.

At the time of the 1832 Census the population of the area covered by the Ledbury Union was 11,973, and by the 1891 Census this had risen to 12,613.

In 1836 a Union Workhouse was built to the north-west of the town on what used to be Union Lane but is now called Orchard Lane. It was designed by George Wilkinson, who was also the architect for the Leominster, Bromyard and Weobley workhouses. A budget of £3,970 was set aside for the project. The building was originally designed to hold 150 people and included innovations such as water closets. It opened in 1837.

The design was the common cruciform pattern with an entrance block at the front, and four separate wings leading off from a central block. This design was popular as it created individual yards for the different categories of inmates.

The workhouse buildings are now used as residential accommodation.

[Original author: Miranda Greene, 2003]