workhouse at Forden
Care of the poor
|A workhouse for the Union|
workhouse in Forden union was built as a "House
in 1794-5. It cost £12,000 and was intended to house about 1000 inmates
from the border parishes. This
is an awful lot of people from a sparsely populated rural area. It seems
that the authorities were keen to get poor people shut
away where they could not be seen.
inside the inmates had to work hard
to pay for their keep. Local craftsmen and women were employed to teach
them new skills and get them producing goods which could be sold.
Forden inmates made clothes, shoes, straw bonnets, and spun linen yarn. They worked in the gardens and on the workhouse farm and were taught how to butcher animals.
tithe map for Forden parish shows the House of Industry around 1840. (We
have coloured the actual buildings in to make them stand out.)
You can see the gardens to the right of the building, and the burial ground. (marked 638 for inmates who died at the workhouse. Over 60 inmates died in one particularly bad year in the early 19th century).