A parliamentary report of 1777 listed local workhouses in operation at Bellister (with accommodation for up to 80 inmates), Blenkinsopp (80), Coanwood (40), Fetherstone (40), Plenmeller (80), Thirlwall (80), and Walltown (42).
Haltwhistle Poor Law Union was formed on 18th October 1836. Its operation was overseen by an elected Board of Guardians, 18 in number, representing its 17 constituent parishes and townships as listed below (figures in brackets indicate numbers of Guardians if more than one):
County of Northumberland: Bellister, Blenkinsopp, Coanwood, Featherstone, Haltwhistle (2), Hartleyburn, Henshaw, Kirkhaugh, Knarsdale, Lambley and Asholme, Melkridge, Plainmeller [Plenmeller], Ridley, Thirlwall, Thorngrafton, Wall Town, Whitfield.
The population falling within the Union at the 1831 census had been 5,634 with parishes ranging in size from Wall Town (population 96) to Haltwhistle itself (1,018). The average annual poor-rate expenditure for the period 1834-6 had been £1,977 or 7s.0d. per head of the population.
Haltwhistle Union workhouse was built in 1837-9 on Greenholme Road at the west of Haltwhistle. The workhouse location and layout are shown on the 1920 OS map, by which time it had become known as Greenholme Institution
The workhouse could accommodate 60 inmates and had a T-shaped layout similar to that at Belford.
The former workhouse buildings have now been demolished.
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.
- Northumberland Archives, Woodhorn, Queen Elizabeth II Country Park, Ashington, Northumberland NE63 9YF. Few records survive. Holdings include: Guardians' minute books (1900-30); Ledgers (1836-1929); etc.
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