Barrow-on-Soar Poorlaw Union



  • A parliamentary report of 1777 recorded parish workhouses in operation at Cossington (for up to 16 inmates), Mountsorrel North-End (16), Rearsby (14), and Syston (14), all under the Gilbert Act.
  • The old "Barrow-upon-Soar Incorporation" was dissolved and its workhouse was sold to the new Guardians of the Union in 1837.
  • The Barrow Poor Law Union was established by the 1834 Poorlaw Amendment Act and was formed on 11th September 1837.
  • A new Barrow-upon-Soar Union workhouse was erected in Rothley parish near Mountsorrel in 1838-40.
  • The Union Workhouse was 5 miles south of Barrow-on-Soar.
  • The Union House was intended to accommodate 300 inmates, but it seldom held more than 100.
  • The Barrow Union included these parishes; Anstey, Barkby, Barkby Thorpe, Barrow-upon-Soar, Beeby, Belgrave, Birstall, Cossington, Cropston, Leicester Frith, Mountsorrel North, Mountsorrel South, Newtown Linford, Queniborough, Quorndon, Ratcliffe-on-the-Wreake, Rearsby, Rothley, Seagrave, Sileby, South Croxton, Swithland, Syston, Thrussington, Thurcaston, North Thurmaston, South Thurmaston, Ulverscroft, Walton on the Wolds, Wanlip, Woodhouse.
  • The number and names of parishes in the Union would vary over time. Later Additions: Leicester Abbey (1858-92), Anstey Pastures (from 1858), Gilroes (from 1858), Beaumont Leys (from 1858), Maplewell Longdale (1866-84), Bradgate Park (1858-84), Rothley Temple (1858-84).
  • In January, 1892, the Poor Law Union was reduced in size when part of Belgrave parish was transferred to Leicester Poor Law Union. The union also lost Leicester Abbey.
  • In June, 1895, the rest of Belgrave parish was transferred to Leicester Poor Law Union.
  • The Union Board of Guardians met on alternate Mondays at 11am at the workhouse. Around 1915 this was moved to only the fourth Tuesday of each month.

Inventories, Registers, Catalogues

Poorlaw documents can be viewed at the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland in Long Street, Wigston Magna, LE18 2AH. Holdings include: Guardians' minutes (1837-1930); Admissions and discharges (1884-1933); Ledgers (1846-1930); Deceased inmates property inventory; etc.

Remember that some records may be restricted by the 100-year closure laws and regulations, established to protect individual privacy.




  • 1848: John DEAR, workhouse master; Rev. Thomas PRUEN, chaplain; Mrs. Sarah DEAR, workhouse matron; John WELDING, schoolmaster; Mrs. Sarah YOUNG, schoolmistress.
  • 1881: Thomas BUTTERY, workhouse master; Samuel CUFFIN, porter; Miss Jane EAST, nurse; Mrs. Caroline BUTTERY, workhouse matron.
  • 1912: W. H. WRIGHT, chairman; Thomas FORWARD, Clerk to the Board of Guardians; Walter WEBB, Treasurer; Edward W. CARTER, workhouse master; William PAULSON, medical officer; Rev. Edward Lloyd SIMPSON, chaplain, Mrs. E. W. CARTER, workhouse matron.
  • 1925: Ernest William CARTER, workhouse master; James Simpson STRACHAN, medical officer; Mrs. E. W. CARTER, workhouse matron.