Life in The Workhouse

Overcrowding in the workhouses was a major threat faced by the government, as it was feared that, once they opened, people would flock to the workhouses seeking relief. Therefore life in the workhouse was not designed to be easy.

It was recognised that conditions regarding food and accommodation in the workhouse could not be of a lower standard than those faced by the people outside the workhouse, but inside, segregation, manual labour and discipline were enforced and the government hoped that this would keep all but the most destitute away from the workhouses. Segregation of men, women, boys and girls was strictly enforced and each group were kept in separate blocks

of the workhouse.

Even married couples were separated from each other and only allowed to see their children for a short time each day. Each inmate was expected to do some form of work, even the aged and infirm.


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