A parliamentary report of 1777 recorded a parish workhouse in operation at Culworth with accommodation for up to 18 inmates.
The Brackley Poor Law Union formally came into being on 8th June 1835. Its operation was overseen by an elected Board of Guardians, 33 in number, representing its 30 constituent parishes as listed below (figures in brackets indicate numbers of Guardians if more than one):
County of Northampton:
Astwell with Falcutt [Falcott], Aynhoe [Aynho], Brackley St James (2), Brackley St Peter (2), Croughton or Crowton, Culworth, Edgecott [Edgcote], Evenley, Eydon, Farthinghoe, Greatworth or Gretworth, Helmdon, Hinton-in-the-Hedges, King's Sutton (2), Marston St. Lawrence, Moreton Pinkney, Newbottle, Radstone, Steane, Stutchbury [Stuchbury], Salgrave [Sulgrave], Syresham, Thenford, Thorpe Mandeville, Whitfield.
County of Oxford: Finmere, Mixbury.
County of Buckingham: Biddlesden, Turweston, Westbury.
The population falling within the union at the 1831 census had been 13,351 with parishes ranging in size from Steane (population 24) to King's Sutton (1,270). The average annual poor-rate expenditure for the period 1833-5 had been £11,743 or 17s.7d. per head of the population.
A new Brackley Union workhouse was erected in 1836-7 at a site on Banbury Road to the south-west of Brackley. It was designed by George Gilbert Scott who was the architect of many other workhouses including Kettering, Northampton, Oundle and Towcester. His design for Brackley was based on Sampson Kempthorne's model "square" plan published by the Poor Law Commissioners in 1835. In 1836, the Commissioners authorised an expenditure of £5,500 for construction of the building which was to accommodate 250. The workhouse's location and layout can be seen on the 1880s map below.
From 1904, to protect them from disadvantage in later life, the birth certificates for those born in the workhouse gave its address just as The Home, Brackley.
The workhouse was demolished in the early 1930s and the site is now occupied by 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.
- Northamptonshire Record Office, Wootton Hall Park, Northampton, Northants, NN4 8BQ. A wide variety of records survive including: Guardians' minutes (1835-1906, 1914-30); Admissions and discharges (1916-30); Births (1910-32); Deaths (1910-31); Creed register (1890-1934); etc.
- Higginbotham, Peter The Workhouse Encyclopedia (2014, The History Press)
Unless otherwise indicated, this page () is copyright Peter Higginbotham. Contents may not be reproduced without permission.