Link back to main ROSSBRET websiteWolverhampton


Link back to main ROSSBRET websiteWolverhampton


Wolverhampton Poor Law Union and Workhouse

Wolverhampton Poor Law Union was declared 16th September 1836. The Union comprised the Townships of Bilston, Heath Town,  Short Heath,  Wednesfield,  Willenhall  and Wolverhampton.

The Workhouse on Bilston Road was built in 1836, at a cost of 9,000, to hold 818 inmates.

The Board of Guardians Board day was on a Friday at 10am in the Boardroom at the Bilston Road Workhouse

The population in 1891 was 137,505; area 11,147 acres; rateable value in 1895 462,381.

Clerk to the Guardians and Assessment Committee, Edwin Pritchard,  St Peter's Close, Wolverhampton. (Also Superintendent Registrar).
Relieving Officers and Collectors to the Guardians:
No. 1 District - John Veal, Willenhall Road, Wolverhampton.
No. 2 District - George Thompson, 17 Knox Road, Wolverhampton.
No. 3 District - Edmund Dunton Marston, St Peter's Close, Wolverhampton.
No. 4 District - Joseph T. Hughes, Dudley Street, Bilston.
No. 5 District - Trevor Evans, Willenhall.
No. 6 District - Samuel Bratt, Heath Town.

Rev. John Cresswell, Chaplain.
Rev. Francis Joseph Swift, Catholic Chaplain.
Thomas Hudspeth Galbraith, Medical Officer.
E. J. Sattin, Master
Mrs M. A. Sattin, Matron.
Source: Kelly's Directory Staffordshire 1896.


Workhouses, List of those visited in 1867 With Name of the Workhouse and numbers of  insane, idiotic, and imbecile inmates.
Wolverhampton 35 37 72
Source: 22nd Report of the Commissioners in Lunacy to the Lord Chancellor. Submitted by Alan Longbottom.

 The Workhouse became a Public Assistance Institution in 1930, and developed to become Newcross Hospital under the National Health Service.

Building of the former Wolverhampton Union Workhouse
ref: 1200040
Rossbret 2002

LINK to further photographs of Wolverhampton Workhouse

Wolverhampton Union Workhouse
Received from Wolverhampton Archive Office with grateful thanks

There have been three workhouses in Wolverhampton. One was pre 1834 and there have been two buildings since that date. The first Union Workhouse was built in 1840 and stood on the Bilston Road close to the town centre until the second was opened in 1903. This was built on  Wolverhampton Road in Wednesfield, about two miles from the town centre. Some buildings from this workhouse still stand and are part of New Cross Hospital.
There were also Cottage Homes provided for children. These were built in 1889 and were also at Wednesfield. They have all been demolished.
If you wish us to provide more information you will need to fill in a postal search service request form making it clear which building you are interested in. We can send you a form if you email us your address, or you can download a copy from our website, the address is below.
Our website also has a copy of a leaflet, 'A Selection of books and documents from the Archive & Local Studies collection for the study of the Poor Law', leaflet number 2. This will give you some idea what sources we have relating to the workhouses.

Wolverhampton Union Cottage Homes

The Cottage Homes, Wednesfield, erected in 1890 at a cost of about 16,000 for the children of the Wolverhampton Union, consisted of eight homes, each for 30 children.

Robert Barrett, Superintendent.
Mrs Barrett, Matron.
Miss Isabella Taylor, Mistress.
Mrs A. J. Moore, Infants Mistress.
Source: Kelly's Directory Staffordshire 1896.

The Queen Victoria Nursing Institution

Located on Bath Road, established in 1887 to commemorate the Jubilee of H. M. the Queen, and new buildings were erected in 1895 at a cost, including site, of about 4,000. A District Nursing Home in St Pauls Terrace for the supply of Nurses to the poor is carried on in connection with this Institute.
Source: Kelly's Directory 1896

This hospital was closed in 1981.

Health Care in Wolverhampton
Submitted by Carol David

In 1832 a Cholera epidemic hit Wolverhampton, claiming 193 lives. The incident was entirely beyond the capabilities of the Dispensary and showed the need for better facilities. In 1834 the Poor Law Amendment Act allowed for the building of Workhouses, where the able bodied poor 
could be put to good use, and which fulfilled a very basic health care role. In Wolverhampton the act resulted in the Workhouse in Old Mill Street, built in 1840 - the street is shown on the Tithe map (m2) as Workhouse Lane - and the Union Poor House on the Cleveland Road, which is clearly
marked on the Tithe map - this building follows the Radial pattern of design which was generally reserved for prisons (but then, what was the difference?).
Regrettably, the Union Poor House, well worth preserving for its architectural merits, has been demolished.

Cholera came again in 1848 with devastating results. Over 500 people died. The newly opened South Staffordshire General Hospital gave no assistance, since it would admit no infectious patients at all. The ill were put into isolation wards in the workhouses and in tents erected for the purpose on Goldthorn Hill, about two miles out of the town.
Info from
(info on Victorian Wolverhampton. 
Paragraph before this one talks about the hospitals in the town.)

Wolverhampton Archives and Local Studies
42-50 Snow Hill
West Midlands
Telephone: 01902 552480
web site:

Page last updated 12 March, 2008

Copyright Rossbret 1999-2005. All rights reserved.

If you have any information or photographs that you can add to this site, please email