By Peter Higginbotham. 128 pages. ISBN 978-0-7524-4488-8
Such was the fear and dread of 'ending one's days in the workhouse' that even in recent years older people could recall the feelings of horror that such a threat conjured up. That a system introduced to help the poor and destitute could become such a reviled and feared institution is a mystery to most of us today, but a study of it can bring a better understanding of a broader social, political, economic, and even architectural history of Britain.
The workhouse system officially ended in 1930, and today little remains of these great and gloomy edifices, although some have survived by finding new uses. People are often surprised to discover that a former workhouse building still exists in their locality.
This extensively-illustrated book takes a look both at surviving and lost examples of workhouse buildings in the north of England, covering the old counties of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, and Worcestershire. Family, local and social historians will all find it a source of useful reference, and for the general reader it will provide an interesting account of an institution of which few were sorry to see its end.