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Congleton Union Workhouse (Mossley)

In 1730 Congleton Town Council decided to convert the Lower Chapel on Mill Bridge to a Workhouse, but by 1810 it was becoming deteriorated and The Council then decided to build a new Workhouse. They leased land from the Inclosure Trustees on a site described as Mossley Moss, and the Workhouse was erected in 1810.

The building, known as Mossley Workhouse could accommodate 100 paupers. The poor law Amendment Act came into effect in 1834 requiring the formation of Poor Law Unions and Congleton Poor Law Union was officially declared 20 December 1836.

The Workhouse could not cope with the increasing demand following the 1834 Act, and the Board of Guardians chose to build a new Union Workhouse at Arclid.

The building is preserved as a Petfood Superstore in Congleton, and the Tramps Ward remains in Park Street.

The Workhouse at Arclid founded 1846 in Newcastle Road by the Congleton Board of Guardians. Under the National Health Service it became known as Arclid Hospital, which was closed in 1995.

The Congleton Union Workhouse, erected in 1844, is a handsome brick structure of considerable extent. It consists of a centre & two wings, & has accommodation for 354 inmates. There are at present 107, & the average cost of each inmate per week, according to an official return,
is 2s.9d. The total receipts (exclusive of balances) for the half year ending 24 March 1859, were 4407 & the expenditure 4722.6s.4d. The Union comprehends a district of 32 townships, embracing an area of 50,357 acres, with a population of 30,512 persons. 

The following are the Townships comprised in the Union: 

Congleton District
Congleton Buglawton Biddulph Newbold Astbury
Somerford Booths Moreton Hulms Walfield Somerford & Radnor
Sandbach District
Alsager Arclid Betchton Bradwell
Church Lawton Elton Hassall Moston
Odd Rode Sandbach Tetton Wheelock
Church Hulme District
Astbury Blackden Brereton Church Hulme
Cotton Cranage Davenport Kermincham
Leese Sweltenham Tremlow  

Attached to the workhouse there are 3+ acres of land worked by the male adult inmates, & 1 acre worked by the boys.

There are 14 boys & 12 girls attending the school at the present time.The amount of money paid to the Board of Guardians from the Parliamentary grant in respect of the salaries of teachers for the year ended Lady Day, 1857, was 45.10s.1d. 

The Board of Guardians meet every alternate Friday. 
Randle Wilbraham esq is chairman, 
G Whatham esq vice-chairman, 
W Latham esq clerk,  
G W Hall esq, treasurer. 
Peter & Mary Daley, governer & matron of the house; 
Mr David Faee, relieving officer for Sandbach; & Mr G Wilkinson, relieving officer for Church Hulme. 
Thomas Dean & Harriet Farr, school teachers 
Rev J W Turner, Chaplain. 
Source: White Directory - P 530/531
Submitted by Betty Longbottom

The Congleton Poor Law Union is situated at Arclid. The Union embraces 32 townships, & contains a population of 30,512 souls. The Old Workhouse, situated on Congleton Moor, was built in the year 1810 at a cost of about 3000. It was a commodious brick structure which has been converted into cottages since the Union House at Arclid was built.
Source: White Directory - p 428
Submitted by Betty Longbottom

Records Available

Cheshire Record Office
Duke Street, 
Tel: 01244 602574 


Page updated March 12, 2008
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