Union comprises and area of 133 square miles, or about 82, 464 acres of
land, divided into 46 parishes. It had 16, 922 inhabitants in 1831, and 19, 014
in 1851, living in 3827 houses.
Poor Law Union and Workhouse
The Union Workhouse stands within the borough of Bury St Edmunds,, and is a
large brick building erected in 1835-6, at a cost of about £6,000. It has
room for 300 paupers, and it had 257 inmates at the time of the 1851 census.
From the centre of the building, in which are the governor's apartments and the
boardroom radiate 9 wings, with airing yards between them. Attached to the
house are 8 acres of land, of which 5 acres are cultivated as a vegetable
Source: William White, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Suffolk 1855.
At the time of the 1851 census, the master was Dennis HELSDON age 47, born
Norwich, and his wife, Sarah A HELSDON, aged 46, and also born Norwich.
Schoolmaster : Frederick VINCE, age 26, born London
Schoolmistress: Caroline HOWE, age 28, born Benton, Sfk
Porter : Henry CLARKE, age 37, born Heigham, Sfk
Nurse : M.A. BIRD, age 33, born Whepstead, Sfk
Gardener : Henry POLLARD, age 20, born Walsham le Willows, Sfk
All of the people in the above posts (obviously excepting the master) were
Note : The two parishes of Bury St Edmunds had their own workhouse in College
Street, separate from the above for Thingoe Union.
Thingoe Union Workhouse compiled by Andy Kerridge
The average annual expenditure of the districts for the support of the
poor, during the 3 years before the formation of the Union, was
£13,538; but in 1838, the expenditure was only £9026; & in 1840,
£9657.4s. THe number of paupers relieved in the last quarter of 1842
was 2056, of whom 206 were indoor poor. The Workhouse stands within the
Borough of Borough St Edmunds, near the Suffolk General Hospital, & is
a large brick building, which was finished in 1836, at the cost of
about £5000, & has room for 250 paupers, & had a 160 inmates in March
1843. Mr James Thomas Burbridge is Master of the Workhouse; & James
Sparke esq, is Clerk to the Board of Guardians. 1 Guardian is returned
from each parish; & the Rev W J S Casborne is Chairman.
Source: White 1844 - p 601
Submitted by Betty Longbottom
Page last updated
12 March, 2008