A parliamentary report of 1777 recorded parish workhouses in operation in Newport (for up to 18 inmates), Edgmond (16), and Forton (10). The Newport workhouse was at the south side of Workhouse Lane, now 34-40 Vineyard Road.
In 1783, Gnosall purchased a property at the south of the parish church, later the site of a school, for use as a workhouse.
Newport Poor Law Union was formed on 5th October 1836. Its operation was overseen by an elected Board of Guardians, 22 in number, representing its 16 constituent parishes as listed below (figures in brackets indicate numbers of Guardians if more than one):
County of Salop:
Cherrington, Chetwynd, Chetwynd-Aston, Edgmond, Lilleshall (3), Longford, Newport (3), Tibberton, Woodcote.
County of Stafford: Adbaston, Forton, Gnosal (3), High Offley, Norbury, Weston Jones.
The population falling within the Union at the 1831 census had been 15,371 with parishes ranging in size from Weston Jones (population 113) to Lilleshall (3,569), Gnosall (3,358) and Newport itself (2,745). The average annual poor-rate expenditure for the period 1834-36 had been £4,932 or 6s.5d. per head of the population.
Initially, Newport Union made use of former parish workhouse accommodation at Newport and Gnosall.
In 1855-56, a new Newport Union workhouse was erected on Audley Avenue in Newport and was designed by Mr Haycock. The site location and layout are shown on the 1925 map below, by which time the workhouse had become known as Newport Poor Law Institution:
A 29-bed infirmary was added to the east of the workhouse on 1908 at a cost £3,100.
The surviving workhouse buildings have now been converted to residential use.
By 1908, the Newport Union was operating a boys' home at Doley, Gnossall. In that year, up to 10 boys could be accommodated, under the charge of the superintendent Mrs A Thursfield. The home appears to have closed by the 1920s.
- 1863 — Master: Lewis James; Matron: Mrs James; Chaplain: Revd William Sandford, MA
- 1870 — Master: Lewis James; Matron: Mrs James; Chaplain: Revd David Mountfield, MA
- 1881 Census
- 1891 — Master: James Ide; Matron: Mrs Ide; Medical Officer: C.E. Baddeley MD; Chaplain: Revd WF Burges MA.
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.
- Shropshire Archives, Castle Gates, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY1 2AQ. Please note that records may contain gaps or have access restrictions - please check before visiting. Holdings include: Guardians' minutes (1836-1930); Births register (1866-1913); Marriage notice books (1904-24); Register of paupers (1900-07); etc.
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