[Up to 1834] [After 1834] [Staff] [Inmates] [Records] [Bibliography] [Links] A parliamentary report of 1777 recorded parish workhouses in operation at Aberton (for up 16 inmates), Aldham (20), Great and Little Birch (24), Boxstead [Boxted] (30), Bures (9), Copford (30), Dedham (48), Fordham (22), Great Horkesley (26), Langham (25), Layer de la Hay (15), Marney (25), West Mersea (18), Stanway (18), Great Tey (28), Great Wigborough (20), and Wivenhoe (30). The Dedham parish workhouse operated between 17 in a converted L-shaped building on Crown Street. A cottage on School Road in Langham, now known as Keeper's Cottage, was used as the parish's workhouse prior to 1835. Its layout was an unusual variation on the popular cruciform plan.Boxted's parish workhouse was a cottage at the east side of what is still called Workhouse Hill. An adjacent house is thought to have been the workhouse master's house. Instead of the more common cross-inside-a-square or Y-inside-a-hexagon layouts, it comprised a cross-inside-an-octagon plan.In 1961 he auditioned as the lead singer for a beat group from Leighton Buzzard and soon, as the Barron Knights, they were playing local clubs around Bedfordshire as well as experiencing the gruelling work schedules of Hamburg.They signed with a London publicist, Les Perrin, who renamed Palmer as Duke D’Mond (Duke of the World) and the rest of the band were Barron Anthony (bass), Pete Langford (guitar), Butch Baker (guitar) and Dave Ballinger (drums). The building, which was designed by SO Foden and Henman, cost £6,800 to construct and could accommodate 330 inmates. Little Horkesley's parish workhouse was in an isolated location at the north side of what is still called Workhouse Lane, about a mile to the south of the village. The new workhouse was built in 1836 at the south side of the London Road in Stanway.The Barron Knights were at the bottom of the bill on The Beatles Christmas Show in 1963, but within a few months they were a chart attraction.They advocated the return of conscription in “Call up the Groups” so that their chart rivals would be out of the way.
Lexden and Winstree infirmary block from the south-west, 2000. A laundry was located at the south-west side of the main buildings. A mortuary, probably dating from the early twentieth century, stood at the east of the site. The workhouse later became St Albright's Hospital but after its closure parts of the building were used as office accommodation by the local authority until 2005.
The average annual poor-rate expenditure for the period 1833-35 had been £16,889 or 17s.1d. Initially, the new Lexden and Winstree Union retained parish workhouse premises at Dedham, Langham, Copford and Wivenhoe, until a new central union workhouse could be erected.
In 1726, a cottage at the east side of the Colchester Road was converted to become Wivenhoe's parish workhouse. The population falling within the union at the 1831 census had been 19,811 — with parishes ranging in size from Mount Bures (population 262) to Brightlingsea (1,784).
Lexden and Winstree from the north-west with laundry at right, 2000. A chapel, probably dating from the 1880s, was added at the south of the site. Lexden and Winstree mortuary from the north-west, 2000. Taken in 1929, here is a group photograph of what was possibly the final Board of Guardians before the union was wound up. Margaret Joan Wells-Gardner grew up in the Lexden and Winstree workhouse where her parents were Master and Matron.
Lexden and Winstree chapel from the north-west, 2000. Ring in the Old, her memories of daily life, provide a fascinating insight into life in the workhouse in the first part of the twentieth century.