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Plomesgate Poor Law Union and Workhouse

Plomesgate Union consisted of 41 parishes, with 21,000 inhabitants

The workhouse at Wickham Market was completed 1836/7. The main entrance was in the center of the south side. In the central block were the board room on the ground floor and the chapel above. In the central wing to the north were the
kitchens and laundry blocks. The inmates were divided into Men, Women, Boys, and Girls - and each category had a dormitory, a dining room, a day room, and a court. There was also staff accommodation. Within a year a single storey
extension was added for old people, and also a pest house. In 1906 an Infirmary was added.

In December 1837 there were 160 inmates, of which
24 were aged and infirm
12 were insane
3 were vagrants
10 were orphans
41 able bodied but out of work
and the rest were a mixture of illegitimate, illegitimate's with mothers, children, and widows with children.

The Board of Guardians met weekly at the workhouse - minutes are kept at Suffolk Record Office.

The Master from 1837 to 1853 was John MOOR and his wife. At first he received GBP 25 pa with accomodation and keep, in 1860 this was increased to GBP 100.

This is a very brief summary of an excellent 20 or so page booklet "The Workhouse Wickham Market, Suffolk" by EP Cockburn, 1991
Plomesgate Union Workhouse compiled by Andy Kerridge


The Workhouse, which stands near the Market Cross, has (since Framlingham was joined to Plomesgate Union) been converted into public rooms, in which assemblies etc are held.
Source: White Directory 1844 - p 190
Submitted by Betty Longbottom


Since joining the Plomesgate Union, the parish workhouse has been converted into cottages, occupied by poor families.
Source: White 1844 - p 171
Submitted by Betty Longbottom


Comprises about 21,000 inhabitants, & 40 parishes, consisting of all the 23 parishes in Plomesgate Hundred, 16 of the 18 parishes of Loes Hundreed, & Wickham Market, in Wilford Hundred. Framlingham returns 2 guardians, but each of the other parishes only 1. 

The Union Workhouse is at Wickham Market, & was erected in 1836/7, at the cost of about 7000. It is handsomely built of brick, in the Elizabethan style, & has room for 370 inmates, & had as many as 278 in Jan 1843, though it had
only 100 in July, 1841. 

These are maintained at the weekly cost per head of 1s.10+d for food, & 7d for clothing. The total sum expended for the relief of the in & out-door poor, during the first quarter of 1843, was 2595.12s.1+d, which was 175 less than the cost of the preceding quarter. 

The Union is divided into 6 Registration Districts, under Mr John Dallenger, the Supt. Registrar & Clerk to the Board of Guardians. Mr John & Mrs Susan Moore are master & matron of the Workhouse, & the Rev William B Bransby is the chaplain. The other principal officers are Richard Wigg & John Garrod, relieving officers; Messrs William Muriel, William Jeaffreson, Edward Gross, Robert Freeman, Samuel Randall &
Frederick Bell, surgeons; Francis W Ellis, auditor.

White 1844 - P154
Submitted by Betty Longbottom

Page last updated 12 March, 2008 by Rossbret