Hayfield Union comprises the following parishes:
Disley Stanley, Hayfield, Mellor and Newtown.
The population of the Union in 1891 was 12,873, area 17,951 acres and the rateable value in 1894 £57,057.
Clerk to the Guardians and Committee (1895) Henry Barber, Spring Bank, New Mills. Also Superintendent Registrar.
Relieving and Vaccination Officer, Thomas Mower, Newtown, Cheshire.
The Workhouse, Low Leighton, a building of stone, built in 1840 to hold 96 inmates.
John Livesley, Master
J. E. Anderton, Medical Officer
Miss Martha Ann Livesley, Matron
Land belonging to Whitfield school (Glossop) adjacent to the road from Low Leighton to New Mills was finally acquired when the Commissioners agreed to the purchase in November 1838'.
In the early months of 1841 a single story entrance and porter's lodge were to be included, beds were ordered and fires were kept burning in the building to dry it out.
The site was central for all villages and townships in the union'. Which were the parishes of Hayfield, Beard, Ollersett, Whitle, Thornsett, Mellor and Disley.
The workhouse was to be built to a plan drawn up by Dennis Rangeley (Hayfield Guardian and a Builder and Joiner) at a cost of £1,700
The infirmary was included at the time of the original building. By 1842 a ventilation system had to be installed in the wash room. It was also decided that a dead house was needed. It was also considered the the infirmary should be raised a storey in order better accommodate the sick, and that the dead house with a straw loft overhead could be built on.
In 1867 Richard Cane, the Union Inspector reported that the Guardians were resolved to erect Male and Female sick wards and improve the existing building. In October the Guardians decided sheds were needed for the able-bodied and vagrants to work in, picking oakum and breaking stone. In February 1868, Mr. Cane wrote that the new buildings were partly completed and were built on the site of the old store rooms. In July he reported the detached hospital was complete as were the work rooms.
The workhouse actually closed 27th March 1930.
Source: Submitted by Libby Duffield
Derbyshire Record Office
Tel:- 01629 580000
The Hayfield Union Workhouse, A History by Joan Powell published by The New Mills Local History Society.
Page updated March 12, 2008 by Rossbret