Link back to main ROSSBRET websiteGateshead Workhouse


Link back to main ROSSBRET websiteGateshead Workhouse


Gateshead Workhouse and Poor Law Union

A Workhouse was built in 1841 in Union Lane, Bensham, but quickly became overcrowded. In 1886 plans were submitted for a new workhouse, school and hospital to be built on High Teams Farm.

The Union comprises the following parishes: Chopwell, Crawcrook, Gateshead, Heworth, Ryton, Ryton Woodside, Stella, Whickham and Winlaton. The area of the Union is 26,222 acres, rateable value March 1910, 783,654, and the population in 1901 was 173,282.
The Board Day is the first Tuesday in the month at 3.30pm. The Board room and Offices are located in the Union buildings, Prince Consort Road.

Union Officers 1910
Chairman of the Board of Guardians R. Affleck
Clerk to the Guardians and Assessment Committee George Craighill
Superintendent Registrar John Bovill

The Union House, in Saltwell Lane, Bensham, about 1 miles from the railway station, was erected in 1889 at a cost of 40,000 and is available for over 1,000 inmates and staff. It is a structure of red brick on the pavilion principle; attached is a hospital, together with a separate entrance building for vagrants.

Workhouse Staff 1910
James Scott Master
Miss Forster Matron
John Todd Medical Officer
Arthur W. Blacklock Assistant resident Medical Officer

Provision was made for Infirm and Chronic cases, Isolation and Maternity Wards.
The workhouse opened in June 1890 and became known as High Teams Institution. 
Under the NHS in 1948 it became Bensham General Hospital.
Records are held by Tyne and Wear Archives.

Link to A Social History of Gateshead 


Durham County Records
County Hall, 
Telephone: 0191 383 3253

Durham University Library

Tyne and Wear Archives Service


Page last updated 12 March, 2008 by Rossbret