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Leominster Union Workhouse

Priory Hospital

Historic Environment Record reference no. 10562, Ordnance Survey grid reference SO 4988 5933

Leominster Poor Law Union was formed on 15 June 1836. It had a Board of Guardians of 32 members from the 25 parishes that made up the Union.

The Union Workhouse was built in 1836-8 to the north of the Priory Church of St. Peter and St. Paul. The architect, George Wilkinson, was also responsible for building the Union Workhouses at Bromyard, Weobley and Ledbury.

The workhouse followed the general cruciform pattern and incorporated a large 15th century block, which had originally belonged to the Priory.

The entrance block was to the west and contained the Board Room and Clerk's Office with a waiting room in the centre. Behind the entrance block were the yards for men and boys, but they were separated from each other by a block down the middle. The chapel and dining hall were housed in the block that ran parallel to the entrance block, with female accommodation to the rear.

To the north of the workhouse are the remains of a monastic structure that suffered during the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1538. This block was originally used as an infirmary before being re-used as day-rooms and dormitories.

The workhouse later became the Old Priory Hospital, but it is now used as offices by Herefordshire Council.

[Original author: Miranda Greene, 2003]