Marylebone - Workhouse aged & infirm wards
Some new wards have been erected for the purpose of relieving the over-crowded state of the house, and providing more suitable accommodation for that class of persons to whom only a workhouse should be made attractive.
The Guardians of St. Marylebone are anxious that their aged poor should be made as comfortable as the rules of a workhouse will permit. he building is erected at the south-east angle of the workhouse ground, and occupies the site of the old bakehouse and laundry. The wards, six in number, are each 40 ft. wide, 60 ft. long, and 13 ft. high, and give 780 cubic feet of air space to each
occupant. The beds are ranged down either side of the room, and a double row of beds occupies the centre of the room, which is divided longitudinally by a
partition 5 ft. 6 ins. high. The western ends of the rooms are formed as large
double bay windows, and constitute the day rooms. The skirting at the back of
the beds forms a box 9 in. square, with a perforated zinc front; below these
boxes are channels containing hot-water pipes; at the ends of these channels,
and in the front and back walls, are large openings through which, by raising a
damper, is admitted the external air. By this means the fresh air will be first
warmed by passing over the hot-water pipes, and then rising upwards be emitted
through the perforated front of the skirting boxes into the wards immediately
under the beds. The foul air is carried off through wide channels in the
ceilings, which communicate with large flues running up the side walls, and
terminating just above the level of the eaves of the roof; each opening into a
flue is provided with a door that is under the control of the nurses only. The
upper wards are somewhat differently constructed from those of the lower wards, inasmuch as the ceilings follow the line of the sloping sides of the roof, which are supported at intervals on semi-elliptic cast-iron ribs. The emission of foul air in these wards is provided for by a channel in the apex of the ceiling,
running the whole length of the room, and has zinc flues at intervals open to
the air. The walls are plastered throughout, the lower portion being finished
with Portland cement; they are coloured with varied and pleasing tints, which
give them an appearance as cheerful and homely as they are unlike the bare,
limewashed, vault-like brickwork of an ordinary workhouse ward. basement of the building contains store-rooms, heating furnaces, coal store, and other offices.
The total cost of the building as finished for occupation, including every
description of fitting, gas-lighting, architect's commission, and all other
contingencies, was about £6,400, and this being for the accommodation of 240
inmates, is at the rate of £27 per bed. The architect is Mr H. Saxon Snell,
Messrs Manley and Rogers are the builders; Messrs Potter and Sons executed the heating, ventilating, and sanitary works; and Messrs Abercrombie the
Source: The Builder 1868 Vol XXVI 2nd May 1868 p.323
Submitted by Alan Longbottom
New Wards Marylebone Workhouse
The St. Marylebone, like most other old workhouses, has been found quite
incapable of accommodating the continually augmented demands upon its space
arising from the increase of population and other causes. Moreover, the greater
part of the building is fast decaying, and must of necessity be sooner or later
entirely rebuilt. Some portions, past repair, have been taken down, as in the
case of the old bakehouse, laundry and kitchens. Other similar offices have been
erected on more convenient sites, and the ground made available by their removal has been utilised in the erection of a building to accommodate the aged and infirm women.
The whole building now contains nine wards, each 40 ft. wide by 60 ft. long by
13 ft high, and gives 780 cubic feet of air space to each of the 340 inmates.
The cost of the buildings, including architect's commission and other
contingencies, will be about £27 per bed.
The skirting at the back of the beds forms a box 9 ins. square, with a
perforated zinc front; below these boxes are channels containing hot-water
pipes; at the ends of these channels and in the front and back walls are large
openings, through which the external air is admitted. By this means the fresh
air, being first warmed by passing over the hot-water pipes, will rise upwards
and be emitted through the perforated zinc front of the skirting boxes into the
wards immediately under the beds. The foul air is carried off through wide
channels in the ceilings, which communicate with large flues running up the side
walls, and terminating just above the level of the eaves of the roof.
The upper wards are somewhat differently constructed from the lower wards,
inasmuch as the ceilings follow the line of the sloping sides of the roof which
are supported at intervals on semi-elliptic cast-iron ribs. The emission of foul
air in these wards is provided for by a channel in the apex of the ceiling,
running the whole length of the room, and having zinc flues at intervals open to
The architect was Mr. H. Saxon Snell; Messrs. Crabb and Vaughan were the
builders; Messrs. Potter and Sons executed the heating, ventilating and sanitary
Source: The Builder 1869 Vol XXVII 30th October 1869 p.864
Submitted by Alan Longbottom.
Proposed Mortuary for St. Marylebone
The following is the official description of this establishment, as furnished to
the vestry of St. Marylebone, by its chief surveyor, Mr. T. Gaul Browning :-
The style of the building is to be very plain Egyptian, 28 ft. long, 19 ft.
wide, and 17 ft. high, the walls of brick-work, stuccoed, and the floor of
stone, covered in by an iron roof, which will have the centre part only filled
with rough glass. The other portion of the roof measuring nearly three-fourths
of the whole area, will be covered with slates, boarding, and felt. For the
purpose of admitting fresh air to the floor level, there will be a trench the
whole length of each side of the building, covered with an iron grating; each
trench will have five communications with the external atmosphere by means of
air-bricks. For the escape of vitiated air there will be an opening at least 3
ins. wide all round the eaves of the roof, and the upper part will be entirely
open, but protected from rain by means of a projecting frame glazed with rough
glass, and kept sufficiently high to admit of a very free escape of ant impure
air which may ascend into the upper part of the roof.
Source: The Builder 1868 Vol XXVI 22nd August 1868 p.629
Submitted by Alan Longbottom
A Mortuary for Marylebone.
The vestry of the parish of Marylebone have erected a large public mortuary in the burial ground at Paddington. The mortuary has been formally opened. The building is in the Egyptian style, and has been built by Messrs Temple and Foster of Paddington, from drawings prepared by Mr. Browning the vestry surveyor. Within there is a row of four ornamental cast-iron columns down each side, which not only help to support the iron bearers fixed into the walls to hold shelves for the reception of a large number of dead bodies, but they also sustain the girders which uphold the roof, from the centre of which the room is lighted with gas on a new principle.
Source: The Builder 1869 Vol XXVII 2nd January 1869 p.016
Submitted by Alan Longbottom.
Mortuary House, Marylebone
Dr. Whitmore says in his last monthly report :- By an order of the vestry the
mortuary house situated in the Paddington Street Burial Ground - and which has
been ready for the reception of the dead for the last six months, will be opened
for public inspection for the next 5 or 6 weeks. It is to be hoped that the
poorer classes in particular will take the opportunity of visiting it, in order
that they may judge for themselves of its extreme fitness for the purpose for
which it has been erected. It is a thing of common occurrence that bodies are
kept unburied for eight or ten days, owing to the inability of surviving friends
or relatives to find the money to pay for the interment. In such cases it most
frequently happens that the bereaved family have but one room in which to live,
sleep, and perform every domestic office; here, then, in the midst of them lies
the decaying mass of mortality, poisoning the atmosphere they breathe, and
endangering their health and even their very lives.
Surely both on the score of personal safety, as well as from a feeling of
respect and reverence for the mortal remains of those whom in life they have
loved, the poor will see the desirability of making use of this fitting
mausoleum, as a temporary receptacle for the bodies of their deceased children
or relatives, to which they will have daily access, and for the use of which no
fee or charge whatever is required.
Source: The Builder 1869 Vol XXVII 11th September 1869
Submitted by Alan Longbottom.
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