The Workhouse

Before 1834 Wetherby had a poorhouse called Stone Dene which you can see on this 1888 map below, Just one mile away to the north in Kirk Deighton there was another.

Map showing where stone Dene is on North Road
1888 map

In 1834 the Poor Law Amendment Act came in and formed A poor law unions, this was a geographical territory, and early local government unit, in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Poor law unions existed in England and Wales from 1834 to 1930 for the administration of poor relief.

The Wetherby Union came to be on the 15th February 1861, It had an elected twenty one people to be the Board of Guardians to represent 19 parishes and towns of Angram, Bardsey with Rigton, Bickerton, Cowthorp, North Deighton, Healaugh, Kearby with Netherby, East Keswick, Kirkby Overblow, Linton, Little Ribston, Rigton, Scarcroft, Sicklinghall, Spofforth with Stockeld, Weardley, Wetherby, Wighill, Wothersome.
Wetherby and Spofforth both had two guardians.

In the 1851 census the population had been 6,497, in Wetherby at this time it had a population of 1,494 and the average annual poor-rate expenditure for the period 1858-60 had been £1,742 or 5s.4d. per head of the population.

After 1869 more towns joined which were Bilton, Bramham cum Oglethorpe, Bramhope, Clifford, Collingham, Dunkeswick, Harewood, Hutton Wandesley, Kirk Deighton, Long Marston, Micklethwaite, Pool, Shadwell, Swinden, Thorner, Thorp Arch, Tockwith, Walton, Weeton, Wigton, Wilstrop, and Wyke. With Boston Spa joining later in 1896

1863 picture of the workhouse
The Wetherby Union workhouse was designed by J.B. and W. Atkinson and opened in 1863 on Linton Road in Wetherby, West Yorkshire. The site later became Wharfe Grange Hospital.

The Wetherby Workhouse was built in 1862-3 on Linton Road in Wetherby and was designed by JB and W Atkinson. who coming from York was one of the city’s most prolific 19th-century architectural practices,

The two-storey, T-plan main building adopts a basic, plain classical plan. It is constructed from grey bricks and features a slate roof. The chosen combination of materials creates a bleak appearance. The Workhouse was designed with economy in mind.

The Layout of the building had females to the south and males to the north with the master’s quarter at the center, In January 1907 a infirmary was opened which cost £2000

Undated Image shows Wharfe Grange Hospital block looking from the main building. Copyright:Wetherby Historical Trust

In 1930 the workhouse was recommended to be close as it was deemed ‘on a
whole not a satisfactory institution’. It was suggested to the Guardians to shut it down and relocate its inmates to Tadcaster.

The building came under control of West Riding County Council and was renamed to Wharfedale Lawn and remained in use for the care of elderly women and the mentally handicapped.

In 1993 the hospital closed and most of the buildings were demolished, what remained have been converted into residential housing

error: Content is protected !!