South Stoneham workhouse (renamed Eastleigh in 1920), Hampshire
A parish workhouse is believed to have operated from at least 1800 at West End, at the north side of what is now the Botley Road.
Millbrook had a poorhouse in a leased cottage from at least 1778. The parish erected a workhouse in 1819. In 1836, the workhouse was being insured with the Hampshire, Sussex and Dorset Fire Office for the sum of £500.
South Stoneham workhouse Poor Law Union was formed on 25th March 1835. Its operation was overseen by an elected Board of Guardians, 16 in number, representing its 9 constituent parishes as listed below (figures in brackets indicate numbers of Guardians if more than one):
Botley (2), Burlesdon, Chilworth, Hamble, Hound, Milbrook (3), North Stoneham, St Mary's Extra (2), South Stoneham (4).
Later Additions (all from 1894): Bitterne, Eastleigh, Hedge End, Itchen, Portswood, Shirley, Sholing, West End.
The population falling within the union at the 1831 census had been 9,447 with parishes ranging in size from Chilworth (population 150) to South Stoneham (2,768). The average annual poor-rate expenditure for the period 1832-35 had been £6,003 or 12s.8d. per head.
Initially, the new union took over the existing workhouse site at West End. Its layout is shown on a map from 1845.
However, the old buildings were presumably inadequate and in 1848 a new union workhouse was built at the West End site. Designed by William Henman, the new building was constructed in red-brick with a slate roof at a cost of £7,000.
In layout, it consisted of four parallel ranges with a central connecting corridor.
A three-storey entrance block stood at the south of the site.
The northernmost range housed the infirmary.
The entrance to the workhouse was flanked by receiving blocks for male and female casuals.
Like most workhouses, South Stoneham had its own laundry where female inmates washed the institution's clothing and bedding.
The South Stoneham Union was renamed Eastleigh in 1920.
Between 1908 and 1922, the adjacent Southampton Incorporation had absorbed a number of parishes previously belonging to the South Stoneham Union. In 1926, Southampton took over the South Stoneham workhouse, relieving the Guardians of the union of the financial burden of its operation. The establishment then became known as the West End Institution
After 1930, the West End premises became a Public Assistance Institution run by Southampton Council. In 1948, it joined the newly formed National Health Service as Moorgreen Hospital. In 2000, some of the original workhouse buildings still survived on the Moorgreen Hospital site.
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.
- Southampton Archives Service, Civic Centre, Southampton SO14 7LP. Holdings include: Guardians' minute books (1839-1930 with gaps); lists of indoor paupers for 1832, 1838, 1855-7; West End inmates (1925-48); Moorgreen Hospital inmates (1948-60); Register of patients detained in the padded room at West End Institution (1909-1940).
- Hampshire Record Office, Sussex Street, Winchester SO23 8TH. Holdings are few and are mostly local administrative records such as Overseers receipts and payments.
- Raffo, Eric H (2000) 'Half a Loaf' - The Care of the Sick and Poor of South Stoneham 1664-1948 (The Friends of Moorgreen Hospital)
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