After a far more eventful day than planned we decided to go for hopefully a less eventful option and had a look at this place. Mostly stripped this place has been returning back to nature for a few years now and the fires and graffiti would definitely indicate that the local kids have used it to hang out.
In September 1739, the Local Vestry authorised money for the setting up of a workhouse or poorhouse. The workhouse was erected over the course of the next few months Initially, its capacity was limited to six inmates. The first master was a Mr Phillips and the inmates were employed in making clothing for other paupers in the parish. Between 1766 and 1768 the workhouse was ‘farmed’ by a Mr Thomas Hughes but was then closed. A new poorhouse opened in 1779 but it, too, closed in 1784.
The Union workhouse was erected in 1838-40 and was designed by John Welch. The Poor Law Commissioners authorised an expenditure of £6,200 on its construction which was to accommodate 400 inmates. The workhouse design followed the popular cruciform or “square” layout with separate accommodation wings for the different classes of inmate (male/female, infirm/able-bodied etc.) radiating from a central hub.
After the hospital closed in around 2008, the site was sold for redevelopment as a residential care home. However, the plans fell through and the building has since been left standing empty and increasingly derelict.
In the early 1900s, the Holywell Union opened a children’s home just to the north of the workhouse ( In 1908, the home could accommodate 25 children, with Eliza P. Comins as its Superintendent. The building no longer exists.