Grantham Poor Law Union


Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

  • An early Grantham workhouse is believed to have stood in Trigg's Yard in Watergate. It was recorded that Francis Trigg bequeathed the old Red Lion Inn in 1597 for the poor. The Inn was torn down and a large brick and stone building erected by the parish as a workhouse.
  • After the Poor Law reforms of 1834, the Grantham Poor Law Union was formed on 14 January 1836 to serve the needs of 52 local parishes in Lincolnshire and neighboring Leicestershire. The new Union Work House was built in 1837 to the south-west of the town, to the west of the railway station and was built to hold up to 300 paupers.
  • The Board of Guardians met on alternate Thursdays at 11am.
  • In 1868, a new Fever Hospital was added to the grounds.
  • In March 1890, the Grantham Board of Guardians decided that a new workhouse was needed. The new building went up in 1891-2 at a site on the south side of Dysart Road to the west of the town. It was built to accommodate 200 inmates.
  • The Poor Law Union was divided into three Registration Districts: Grantham, Colsterworth and Denton. But by 1891 these were consolidated into Grantham North and Grantham South.
  • The workhouse later became Hill View Hospital, but the buildings were demolished in the late 1960s.
  • The Lincolnshire Archives has the Grantham Poor Law Union Guardians' minute books (1863-1930); Service register (1862-1930); and some other miscellaneous documents.
  • The Lincolnshire Archives have the Poorlaw Union's Smallpox Vaccinator's Register (Burton Coggles District), 1899-1930.
  • For more on LFHS and the Lincoln Archives have on Lincolnshire Poor Law records, see our Poorhouses page.
  • For more on researching Poor Law records, see our Poor Law records list.


  • "Bygone Grantham," Michael POINTER and Malcolm KNAPP, pub. 1977, ISBN: 0906338034.

District Population

 Year Inhabitants
1801 15,146
1831 22,839
1841 25,456
1851 29,850
1861 28,886
1871 30,606
1891 32,925

In 1879, the workhouse held 130 inmates.

Staff and officers

  • 1842: Robert H. JOHNSON, clerk to the Board of Guardians. Relieving Officers: Steven BRICE, J. R. DOUGHTY and John MARSHALL.
  • 1871: Sir Glynne Earle WELBY-GREGORY, Bart., Chairman of the Board of Guardians; Christopher TURNOR, vice-chairman; William F. MALIM, clerk; Rev. Frederick JESSON, chaplain; Richard H. HOLMAN, workhouse master, Mrs. Sarah HOLMAN, workhouse matron; Miss Emma JACKSON, schoolmistress; and John WRIGHT, porter. Relieving Officers are; John KINGSTON, James BRIGHT, Charles GOODSON.
  • 1882: Aubrey Henry MALIM, clerk to the board; Richard Harding HOLMAN, workhouse master and Mrs. Sarah HOLMAN, workhouse matron.
  • 1891: Sir William E. WELBY-GREGORY, Bart, Chairman of the Board of Guardians; Aubrey H. MALIN, clerk; Rev. Clement ELESMERE, chaplain; Richard H. HOLMAN, workhouse master; Mrs. Sarah HOLMAN, workhouse matron; Miss Elizabeth McDONALD, schoolmistress.

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