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Rugby Workhouse 1841
Rugby Workhouse 1851

Link back to main ROSSBRET websiteRugby


Rugby Workhouse 1841
Rugby Workhouse 1851

Rugby Poor Law Union and Workhouses

Rugby Gilbertian Union 1819-1836
The original union formed in 1819 consisted of 10 parishes - rugby, hillmorton, bilton, newbold-on-avon, long lawford, church lawford, clifton-upon-dunsmore, leamington Hastings, kings newnham and Newton.
The new house of Industry was on a green field site on the south side of lower hillmorton road.  The house was built in Lower Hillmorton Road,  to accommodate 180 and by April 1819 was being fitted out and equipped.

The New Rugby Union 1836-1930
On 29th March 1836 the new Rugby Poor Union under the control of the Pool Law Commission in London came into being.

Rugby Union comprised the following parishes:
Westrill & Starmore, Leicestershire.
Barby, Clay Coton, Crick, Elkington, Kilsby, Lilbourne, Stanford & Yelvertoft, Northamptonshire.
Bilton, Birdingbury, Bourton, Brandon & Bretford, Brinklow, Brownsover, Churchover, Clifton-on-Dunsmore, Combe Fields, Cosford, Dunchurch, Easenhall, Frankton, Grandborough, Harborough Magna, Hillmorton, Church Lawford, Little Lawford, Long Lawford, Leamington Hastings, Marton, Newbold-on-Avon, Newnham Regis, Newton & Biggin, Princethorpe, Rugby, Ryton-on-Dunsmore, Stretton-on-Dunsmore, Thurlaston, Willoughby,  Wolfamcote and Wolstan, Warwickshire.

The original workhouse had a sick ward for the use of the inmates and this was enlarged  in the 1840s. The nursing would have been mainly by other inmates. In 1866 the first full time nurse was appointed - and the sick ward was improved. 
In 1905 the guardians agreed to build a new infirmary which contained 4 wards on 2 floors with room for 66 patients.

Transition Years 1930 - 1948
In 1930 Poor Laws Union ceased to exist and workhouses became Public Assistance Institutions run by the County Council. During WW2  the infirmary was used as an emergency hospital, and later became St Lukes Hospital (1948 - 1993). In 1952 there were 134 beds

St Lukes was demolished in January1993. There is now a housing estate and a new clinic on the site. The only building that now remains is the Guardians Boardroom.

Information submitted by Bev Evans and Viv Pritchard

Kelly's Directory 1892
Board day, alternate Mondays at the workhouse at 10.30am.
Clerk to the Guardians and Assessment Committee, George Valentine Hefford, 8 Elborow Street, Rugby. (also Superintendent Registrar)

Population in 1891 was 27,486; rateable value 227,778; area 80,755 acres.

The workhouse, Lower Hillmorton Road, a building of red brick, built in 1818, to hold 165 inmates.

Workhouse Staff 1841

Workhouse Master 1841 John Dowell
Workhouse Matron 1841 Esther Dowell
School Mistress 1841 Susannah Marson

Workhouse Staff 1851

Workhouse Master 1851 John Dowell
Workhouse Matron 1851 Esther Dowell

Workhouse Staff 1892

Workhouse Master 1892 John A. Crisp
Workhouse Matron 1892 Mrs Crisp
Chaplain 1892 Rev. R.B. Lynch
Medical Officer 1892 Edward Scudamore Angrove
School Mistress 1892 Mary J. Knight

St. Lukes Hospital and Workhouse 1819-1993 an outline history and site record. Published by Rugby local history and research group 1998

Copyright Rossbret 1999-2005. All rights reserved.

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Page last updated 12 March, 2008 by Rossbret