‘Back to the Workhouse’: poverty from the past serving the present

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In 1997, The National Trust and the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England and Wales conducted a survey of surviving workhouses and identified the Workhouse, Southwell, as the best and most important surviving example. The National Trust acquired the building, and a project team from the East Midlands office are now working to reconstruct the site. The anticipated opening date will be Easter 2002. The story of this particular workhouse site will be told but, more importantly, the vision of a system that covered the United Kingdom will be provided as a national example. In this way, the property will become a national and international focus for Poor Law history. Susanna Smith is a qualified archivist and architectural historian in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British architecture and history. As a National Trust Project Researcher, and a member of the project team for the Workhouse, Mrs Smith carries out documentary and oral history research on the Workhouse and has already published several articles on this project.

Document Type: Original Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-0033.00294

Affiliations: National Trust Project Researcher

Publication date: January 1, 2001

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