A parliamentary report of 1777 recorded a parish workhouse in oepration at "Shiffnall" with accommodation for up to 40 inmates.
A new parish workhouse was erected on Park Street at the south of Shifnal in 1817.
The Shifnal (occasionally seen spelt Shiffnal or Shiffnall) Poor Law Union formally came into being on 2nd June 1836. Its operation was overseen by an elected Board of Guardians, 20 in number, representing its 15 constituent parishes as listed below (figures in brackets indicate numbers of Guardians if more than one):
County of Salop:
Albrighton (2), Badger, Beckbury, Bonninghall [Bonningale], Donington, Kemberton, Ryton, Shifnal (5), Stockton, Sutton Maddock, Tong.
County of Stafford: Blymhill, Patshull, Sheriff Hales, Weston-under-Lizard.
Later Additions: Boscobel (from 1858), Priorslee (from 1898).
The population falling within the Union at the 1831 census had been 10,577 with parishes ranging in size from Patshull (population 119) to Shifnal itself (4,779). The average annual poor-rate expenditure for the period 1833-35 had been £4,380 or 8s.3d. per head of the population.
The existing Shifnal parish workhouse building was adopted as the Union workhouse for the Shifnal Poor Law Union and was enlarged in 1840-1 at a cost of about £800. The number of inmates was never more than 100.
The U-shaped main block was a two-storey red-brick building. There was a separate block to the south which was probably an infirmary. Vagrant wards were added in 1896. The site location and layout are shown on the 1901 OS map :
The former workhouse later became Park Street Hospital and then Shifnal Hospital. Part of the main building still survives and has now been converted into housing.
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' minute books (1836-1930); Ledgers (1977-1930); Service register (1860-1917); Master's day book (1921-3); etc.
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