Forest Gate School District
The Forest Gate School District was formed in 1868 and was one of the eight Metropolitan School Districts created between 1848 and 1877. Its member unions were Hackney (until 1877 only), Poplar and Whitechapel.
Forest Lane School
Forest Gate SD purchased the existing industrial school building at Forest Gate from the Whitechapel Union. The site layout is shown on the 1896 map below
A lodge stood at the southern entrance to the site.
An infirmary was erected at the west of the main school building.
On New Year's Day 1890, a disastrous fire broke out in one of the wings and two boys' dormitories were destroyed. Twenty-six boys died from suffocation.
The Forest Gate School District was dissolved in 1897. The school building was sold to the Poplar Union which used it as a training school until 1906. From 1908, it was used as a branch workhouse for able-bodied paupers. In 1911, the West Ham Union acquired the premises for £41,000 for use as an overflow workhouse. It also provided accommodation for imbeciles, epileptics and maternity cases. By 1913, it had become known as Forest Lane Sick Home.
After 1929, the Home came under the control of West Ham County Borough and became Forest Gate Hospital. Its 500 beds accommodated the chronic sick, mentally ill, and maternity cases. The Hospital finally closed in the mid-1980s. The surviving main block and infirmary have now been converted to residential use.
Training Ship Goliath
Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.
The Ancestry website has two collections of London workhouse records (both:
- The London Workhouse Admission and Discharge Records (1764-1930).
- The Poor Law and Board of Guardian Records, 1738-1930 — a wider range of London workhouse-related records.
- The FindMyPast website has workhouse / poor law records for Westminster.
London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, London EC1R OHB.
- Minutes of the Management Board; Annual reports; Superintendent's reports and journal; Copies of out-letters; Admission and discharge registers; Creed registers; List of officers.
- Poplar Guardians: children sent to Forest Gate District School (1869-73)
- St Marylebone Guardians: Children sent to Training Ships, Exmouth and Goliath (August 1873-December 1929)
- Stepney Guardians: Children at Forest Gate, Roman Catholic schools and on Exmouth Training Ship (1871-99, 1915-26)
- Higginbotham, Peter Workhouses of London and the South East (2019)
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