Rugby Poor Law Union was formed on 29th March 1836.
Its operation was overseen by an elected Board of Guardians, 43 in number, representing its 39 constituent parishes as listed below (figures in brackets indicate numbers of Guardians if more than one): County of Warwick: Bilton, Birdingbury, Bourton, Brandon and Bretford, Brownsover, Churchover, Clifton-upon-Dunsmore, Combe Fields, Cosford, Dunchurch (2), Frankton, Grandborough, Harborough Magna, Hillmorton, Kings Newnham, Church Lawford, Little Lawford, Long Lawford, Leamington Hastings, Marton, Newbold-on-Avon, Newton and Biggin, Princethorpe, Rugby (3), Ryton-upon-Dunsmore, Stretton-upon-Dunsmore, Thurlaston, Willoughby, Wolfhampcote, Wolston.
The sleeping quarters were fitted out with 50 iron bedsteads each with deal bottoms, straw bolsters, a blanket and two sheets.
[Up to 1834] [After 1834] [Staff] [Inmates] [Records] [Bibliography] [Links] A parliamentary report of 1777 recorded parish workhouses in operation in Rugby (for up to 25 inmates), Grandborough (20), Long Lawford (8), and Crick (9).
On 27th June 1818, Rugby, together with the parishes of Bilton, Hillmorton, Church Lawford, Long Lawford, Clifton upon Dunsmore, Kings Newnham, Leamington Hastings, Newbold on Avon, and Newton, formed a Union under Gilbert's Act of 1782.
The workhouse location and layout are shown on the 1903 map below. (Prior to 1896, vagrants were accommodated in part of the east wing of the main building.) Rugby casual ward and entrance block from the north-west, c.1914. The building at the west of the entrance had a much more elegant design and contained the Union offices on the ground floor and Guardians' board room on the first floor.
The board room also doubled as a chapel for the workhouse.
The building was extended several times over the years as the number of Guardians increased.
Rugby workhouse board-room from the north-east, 2000. To the rear of the main block was a large courtyard subdivided by walls to create exercise yards for the different classes of inmates (male/female, infirm/able-bodied etc.).
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