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Islington Workhouse and Poor Law Union

Founded from the Parish of Islington in 1867.


Highgate Hill Infirmary, erected 1898. Later became Whittington Hospital.
St John's Road Workhouse erected as a Parish Workhouse
Upper Holloway
Andover Childrens Home, Hornsey Road
Receiving Home, Hornsey Rise
Shadwell Road Workhouse
Liverpool Road Workhouse
Liverpool Road Workhouse School

Islington workhouse 
Some of the parishioners do not feel quite easy about this matter, and express an opinion that scarcely sufficient care was exercised in making the selection. It is said that the buildings, according to the design chosen, will cover 7 acres 3 roods of land ! It was stated at a meeting in the parish of St. Pancras 
the other day, that although the architect's estimate was 30,000 (for 1,000 persons) the alterations made in the plans had brought the amount up to 70,000. The Board should take advice on the subject before it be too late.
Source: The Builder 1868 Vol XXVI 28th March 1868 p.236
Submitted by Alan Longbottom

Foundation stone of the new Islington workhouse

On Saturday afternoon last, the ceremony of laying the foundation stone of the new Islington Workhouse at Holloway took place. The proceedings were of a private character. The site selected is opposite the West London Union Workhouse, and commands a fine view of the surrounding country. The inmates will be classified, and the building is to be fitted throughout with every modern appliance to promote the comfort of the inmates. 

The edifice will present an extensive front, and although rather more useful than ornamental, it will be relieved by the employment of bands of variegated brick. A cupola will crown the structure. The wings of the building will be used, one as a Board Room, and the other as a casual ward. The whole will be erected from the designs of Mr R.H. Burden, by Messrs Nutt and Co. Mr Alfred M. Lewis is the clerk of the works. It will be capable of accommodating 1,000 persons, and its cost will be about 76,000.
Source: The Builder 1868 Vol XXVI 8th August 1868 p.595
Submitted by Alan Longbottom

Islington new workhouse

At the last meeting of the Board of Guardians, some strange statements were made as to improper materials and proceedings in erecting the new workhouse, and by a series of resolutions the clerk of the works was placed in a wrong position in respect of the architect. The contractors should either be exonerated from the charges made, or be requested to walk off the ground at once.
The Builder 1869 Vol XXVII 12th June 1869 p.467
Submitted by Alan Longbottom.

Islington Workhouse, Upper Holloway illus
We illustrate this week the new workhouse for the parish of St. Mary,Islington, now in course of erection in Upper Holloway. The foundation stone was laid in July last by the chairman of the Board of Guardians. 
The site of the new workhouse, (which contains about 7.75 acres of land) is in the St. John's Road, and very near the Alexandra Orphanage. Being on Hornsey Rise, the ground is very much higher in the rear than it is at the front, a circumstance which has been turned to advantage by introducing a lower basement 
story under the main building for stores, permitting further of the formation of a wide double terrace its entire length, which as a platform for the building, enhances its general appearance.
The fall of the ground towards the front has facilitated the drainage, and a thorough system is being constructed with the view of rendering every part of the building and yard perfectly dry. Underground vaults for coal have been provided.
The buildings externally are all of bright yellow stokcs, relieved by bands and arches of red and white brick, Portland stone being sparingly introduced where other materials would soon perish owing to the elevated and exposed situation.
The general arrangement of the several buildings will be seen on reference to the plan, and is as follows :-
A Casual wards
B Porter's rooms and receiving wards
C Board-room and offices
D Out-door relief offices
E Main House
F Dining hall and chapel over
G Refractory wards
H Stores
I Kitchen building
K Infirmary wards
L Administrative block
M Separation wards
N Doctor's residence and dispensary
O Laundry
P Stone-yard and shed
Q Yard closets and sheds
R Dead-house and stable etc
The main building possesses a frontage of about 420 feet, and a corridor 8 feet wide, extends its entire length on every story, communicating on either side with wards about 18 ft 6 ins wide. It is proposed to obtain a proper classification of the inmates by means of iron gates and separate staircases at certain intervals.
The entrance is at the centre, with a vestibule conducting to a principal staircase, behind which is placed the dining-hall, with the chapel over. The ground story of the main house will be 13 ft 3 ins high in the clear and the one and two-pair stories 12 ft each.
The dining hall is 70 ft by 45 ft and 16 ft high, and the chapel will be finished internally in coloured brick, with an open-timbered roof. The infirmary which is placed centrally in the rear, is on the pavilion principle, and will consist of wards 96 ft long by 24 ft wide, those on the ground floor being 13 ft high in the clear, and those on the other stories 12 ft high. They are lighted by windows on both sides extending to within 1 ft of the ceiling, constructed in 
three heights, the two lower being double hung, and the upper hung to hinges, opening inwards for ventilation. It is intended to warm the wards by the Galton stove placed in the centre, two to each ward, by means of which pure warmed air will be introduced; the side walls will consequently permit of the uniform 
arrangement of the windows and beds. At the further end is a large window, which will contribute much to the cheerfulness of the wards, and at the same time assist the ventilation in connection with louvres or fanlight over the door, which is at the opposite end. 
A nurse's room with inspection window and separate scullery, fitted with a small cooking-stove and washing sink, will be provided to each ward. Each ward will contain 32 beds, affording consequently between 850 and 900 cubic feet to each occupant. Two large day or convalescent rooms are provided, communicating with spacious airing grounds. The administrative block is placed centrally, and will consist of kitchen and scullery, apartments for the superintending matron, stores, and bedrooms in the upper part for the nurses.The separation wards form 
a detached building, consisting of ground and one-pair stories, similar in its general arrangement to the infirmary, but providing 1,200 cubic feet per inmate, and reached by means of an enclosed corridor from the infirmary.Access to all parts is provided by means of cartways up the two sides of the site, and enclosed corridors afford communication to every portion of the 
building under cover. Lifts will be provided in the several buildings. The right-hand front wing building contains the board-room, with clerk's offices over, tradesmen's waiting room, also a large waiting room, 70 ft by 45 ft, and three offices for out-door relief. The corresponding building on the left hand contains the porter's-lodge and rooms in connexion, two large receiving or probationary wards, each 25 ft by 16 ft and 12 ft high, with attendants' room adjoining, one of which is 50 ft by 20 
ft and the other 55 ft by 18 ft 6 ins, they are 14 ft 6 ins high to the 
springing of the roof, and 21 ft to the apex of the roof-light. 
The beds for the casual wards will be after a design by the architect, and so arranged as to turn up bodily against the wall when not in use, leaving the floor clear for the purpose of cleaning. They are also very inexpensive as to cost. The buildings will be supplied throughout with hot and cold water, and 
warmed by ventilating grates and stoves in all wards and rooms, and by hot water in the corridors.
Mr. R.H.Burden is the architect. The contractors are Messrs Nutt & Co.The contract amount beng 63,300. The engineer's work is being executed by Messrs Jeakes and Co. The gasfitting by Messrs Faraday & Son. The baths are from Messrs Rufford and Finch. The bells will be on the electric principle. Mr Barrett's 
fireproof flooring has been used for the main corridors. Mr Lewis is the clerk of works. 
The Builder 1869 Vol XXVII 12th June 1869
Submitted by Alan Longbottom.

New Workhouse Islington
At the last meeting of the Islington Guardians the clerk read a letter from Mr. Burden, the architect at the new workhouse, Upper Holloway in which he stated that being informed that the Board had passed a resolution with reference to the appointment of a surveyor, it remained for him to state that it was necessary 
that one duly qualified party should be appointed to act as the surveyor on behalf of the guardians as against any party the contractors might employ on their side. The necessity for one party was occasioned by the fact that the duties to be 
performed involved responsibility. That the clerk of works would be in attendance when required was, of course, assumed. It was inevitable that accounts would have to be made out; but such accounts must under the contract be the result of measurements, and nothing short of the greatest confusion could be 
anticipated in the event of the measurement of the deviations being left, in the first instance, entirely in the hands of the contractors. He reiterated his opinion that it was most advisable that the surveyor appointed be one acquainted with the works. Should it be the pleasure of the Board to constitute the clerk 
of works the surveyor in question (a mode of procedure for a work of such importance most unusual) it must be obvious that his time would thus be very largely, if not entirely absorbed, to the abandonment of his present very important duties, unless the whole matter be deferred until the completion of the works, which, for manifold reasons, would be quite at variance with the 
advice he had given to the Board as their architect.
Source: The Builder 1869 Vol XXVII 30th October 1869 p.875
Submitted by Alan Longbottom.


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