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Various rooms opened off the central corridor for the various classes of inmates, including ones for 'bad women'. Greenwich Woolwich Road part of ground-floor plan, 1844.To the rear, at the south of the site, separated from the main block by the inmates' exercise yards, stood the infirmary block which was adjoined by wash-houses, laundry, work-rooms, and the mortuary. — doesn't explicitly name the workhouse but it was clearly located three miles from Woolwich so was almost certainly Greenwich.A portrait of life in the workhouse and its school in the early 1860s, from a child's point of view at least, appeared in the Poor Law Board's Annual report in 1874. Describing himself as "a ragged little urchin without shoes and cap", he recalls his arrival at the workhouse at the age of seven: After dinner an old woman came and took all my clothes and then showed me into the bathroom, telling me to get in and not be afraid.It was written by a former inmate, who signed himself "W. R.", and who later graduated to the large district school run by South Metropolitan School District of which Greenwich was part. I should think I was not afraid, indeed, I had been too much used to water.
The fact was, the water was hot, to me it appeared scalding hot. Willis the master came and several more, but could not get me in again. At last he got off the stool at the desk, and took hold of my shoulder, and said, 'What is your name.' I was out of his reach in a moment, and shouted out as loud as I could, 'Find, out, carrots.' He had red hair.
[Up to 1834] [After 1834] [Staff] [Inmates] [Records] [Bibliography] [Links] Greenwich's first parish workhouse was opened in 1723, next to St.
Alphege's Church, In 1725, the first edition of An Account of Several Workhouses...
THE Parishioners, taking the same into their Consideration, thankfully accepted of this Offer, and submitted the Direction of it to such Management, as the said Gentlemen should prescribe. Matthew Marryott, of Olney in Buckinghamshire, having, with great Success, directed the setting up Houses of Maintenance for the Poor in Buckinghamshire, and other Counties, was invited to Greenwich, to propose a Plan, by which the like might be done there.
Accordingly, this Summer, a commodious House has been built near the Church, at the Charge of the Honourable Gentlemen aforesaid ; and at Midsummer, all such Poor, as receiv'd Weekly Pensions from the Parish, were admitted into it, to the Number of 900 odd, and are at present employ'd in the picking of Oakum, winding Silk for Throwsters, Spinning Jersey, and such other Work as they are capable of under Mr. THIS Undertaking being its Infancy, it does not yet appear what will be the Success of it ; but one good Effect it has already had, viz.