Historic Buildings and Sites – Workhouse Provision in Madeley

Workhouse Provision in Madeley

During the 17th century various charitable bequests were made for the benefit of the poor in Madeley Parish.

In 1706 and 1713 some of this money was used to purchase property and other land in Madeley Wood and, towards the end of the 18th century, income from this investment was being distributed to ‘widows and other poor’.

A parliamentary report of 1777 records a parish workhouse in operation at Madeley (for up to 20 inmates) and two others at Broseley and Buildwas.

By 1787 the Madeley workhouse was governed by a salaried overseer under the direction of two senior overseers.

In 1796 a purpose-built ‘House of Industry’ was constructed on charity property ( financed by public subscription).

We know from later records that this was situated in ‘The Brockholes’ (now Belmont Road, Ironbridge).

Shortly after 1834 the Board of Guardians for Madeley Poor Law Union took over the building from the earlier Poor Law authority, the overseers of Madeley Parish.

The Guardians extended and altered the building several times before selling it in 1874 when a purpose-built workhouse was constructed on Lincoln Hill.

The original workhouse still survives in part at 13, Belmont Road, the middle house in a terrace of three, whose front rooms probably belong to the 1796 phase of construction.

A map of 1847 shows a much larger set of buildings labelled ‘workhouse’ on the site. Most of these have been demolished although their foundations survive in the back gardens of the present houses.

The front section of the workhouse was, however, divided into three by the insertion of new walls and doorways when it was turned into houses shortly after 1874 and the construction of the back rooms is consistent with a later 19th century date.