Southwell Workhouse opens doors for a new season - and big changes have been made

The Workhouse in Southwell
The Workhouse in Southwell

The Workhouse in Southwell has opened its door to a new season and some big changes have been made.

The National Trust property is back open to visitors on Tuesday, April 23 and visitors will be able to see the results of a five-year project.

Sara Blair Manning, general manager at The Workhouse said: “We want to protect and enhance this special place so it can be explored by current and future generations. Once re-opened,

"The Workhouse will move visitors to understand more about the history of poverty and welfare, teaching us about our own links to the past."

Visitors can expect a new visitor hub, recreated spaces and a new layout within the original workhouse building as well as access to multi-media hand held devices.

These devices are triggered when held over specific objects within the workhouse and tell the story of past inmates.

Events, activities and arts programmes are also planned as well as encourage discussion around poverty and social health care provision in the past, present and future.

In 2019 the workhouse are focusing on issues relating to mental health with a themed programme of events.

From July, Firbeck Infirmary, which was not fully accessible to the public, will be opened to how it might have looked at its start in the 1870s, to a later 1970s care ward, and including the room used by the last resident when the building finally closed its doors in the late 1980s.

A library space will be available to explore workhouse records including census returns, statistics and inspector’s reports along with workhouse reference books and genealogy books available to browse.