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Knighton and district
The Union Workhouse
  From workhouse to hospital  

The first workhouse at Knighton was built around 1792 just for the poor people of the town, so it was quite small.
When the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 was passed by parliament, Knighton became the centre of a new Poor Law Union of around 16 parishes, including some from over the English border in Shropshire and Herefordshire. This meant that a much bigger building was needed, so the original workhouse was greatly enlarged on the same site.

The small map section (below right) is from an Ordnance Survey map published in 1900, and you can see the location of the main workhouse buildings (to the left of the red star) on the southern edge of the town.

Knighton workhouse Map showing workhouse  
  Map showing workhouse The enlarged Knighton Union workhouse is shown in the photograph (above left), which probably dates from the early 1900s. It is typical of many of the Victorian workhouse buildings in that it looked very grim, and resembled a prison !  

The bigger map above shows how large the new workhouse buildings were after they had been extended to hold almost 120 inmates.
The people living in the workhouse were moved out at the start of the First World War in 1914, and the building was then used as a Red Cross hospital for wounded soldiers. It is still in use today as Knighton Hospital.

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