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The Workhouse, Southwell, Southwell

(4.2/5 based on 650+ reviews on the web)
The Workhouse, also known as Greet House, in the town of Southwell, Nottinghamshire, England, is a museum operated by the National Trust. Built in 1824, it was the prototype of the 19th-century workhouse, and was cited by the Royal Commission on the poor law as the best example among the existing workhouses, before the resulting New Poor Law of 1834 led to the construction of workhouses across the country. It was designed by William Adams Nicholson an architect of Southwell and Lincoln, together with the Revd. John T. Becher, a pioneer of workhouse and prison reform It is described by the National Trust as the best-preserved workhouse in England.The building remained in use until the early 1990s, when it was used to provide temporary accommodation for mothers and children. Its acquisition by the National Trust reflects that organisation's wish to broaden its interests and to ensure the continued existence of a Grade II* listed building that was potentially to be turned into residential flats.Restoration work began with roof repairs in 2000 and is ongoing. Many rooms have been redecorated as they would have looked in the 19th century and buildings, walls and privies, which had been demolished in the 20th century, have been reinstated.In 2015 the property was featured in the four-part series 24 Hours in the Past, in which six celebrities experienced what life was like in Victorian Britain
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Anyone could have ended up in here by a cruel twist of fate. A wonderful way to preserve memories of a harsher time with good works helping the destitute at a high price in terms of hard labour and th...  more »
  • We visited the workhouse with our two teenagers yesterday and we all really enjoyed it. The audio tour was really informative and as you followed the characters around you really feel like you're in i...  more »
  • This is a fascinating place, almost eerie thinking about the plight of its former inhabitants. The audio tour is a must, it guides you from room to room, full of information with accounts from staff a...  more »
Google
  • Fantastic place to visit. The tour at 11am starts an hour before the house opens. Its highly recommended as it gives a great insight into the people who came to the workhouse and the owners who managed them. Definately do the audio tour once you commence the house tour as walking round without a guide wont be as an engaging an experience. Great little cafe just recently opened. Everyone at Southwell were superb. Very friendly and engaging and always willing to provide you information on the history of this wonderfull property.
  • Fantastic morning. Got there for the tour at 11am, guide was very good. Enjoyed the house and the electronic guide was great.
  • Excellent place to visit. Well worth the £9 entrance fee. Free audio tour also.
  • A really nice place to visit. The staff were very polite and welcoming. We could go around at our own pace and even had the chance to try on some victorian costumes. I also like that you can choose some vegetables from the garden and put in a donation. I will definitely come again and next time I'll bring my nephew, as I'm sure he'll love it.
  • Historic insight into the birth of the workhouse culture, very interesting. I think the coffee in the cafe dates from the same period though.