Norfolk: Poor Law after 1834 Act


Depwade Union

Union history

  • 1834 - Depwade Poor Law Union was formed.
  • 1836 - Workhouse was built.
    • Located at Hillcrest Court, Norwich Road, Pulham St. Mary Magdalen (on main A140 Norwich to Ipswich Road), IP21 4XP, [Map reference TM185875].
  • 1845 - Description is in Whites 1845 directory
  • 1883 - Entry from Whites 1883 directory
  • 1885 - Mar 25th - Gained that part of Mendham in Norfolk (ie. the portion north of the river Waveney) which was added to Redenhall with Harleston.
  • 1902 - Gained parishes from Guiltcross Union.
  • 1930 - Union dissolved.
  • 1933 - Kelly's directory lists it as "The Institution on the Norwich Road erected 1836 to hold 500 inmates". Also mentions a "Childrens Home at Long Stratton." The above under section "Norfolk No 12 Area Guardians Committee".
  • 1937 - Kelly's directory - as 1933.
  • 1930's - 1948 - Building called at various times :- "Hill House Institution", "Hill House Hospital, Pulham" , "The Hill House" or "Hill House County Home"
  • Subsequently sold and became "Bumbles Hotel" (c. 1984) which did not last long.
  • c. Late 1980's - converted into flats and named "Hillcrest Court".

Before 1834 some of these parishes belonged to Gilbert Unions, Incorporations or had their own Work or Parish House (WkHse) as shown.

Depwade Union
Pre 1834 Union,
or Parish Work House
Pre 1902 Union
(if not Depwade)
Alburgh ---  
Ashwellthorpe WkHse  
Aslacton ---  
Billingford (near Diss) ---  
Bressingham (from 1902) WkHse Guiltcross
Brockdish ---  
Bunwell WkHse  
Burston ---  
Carleton Rode WkHse  
Denton ---  
Dickleburgh WkHse  
Diss WkHse  
Earsham ---  
Fersfield (from 1902)   Guiltcross
Forncett St. Mary ---  
Forncett St. Peter WkHse  
Frenze ---  
Fritton ---  
Fundenhall ---  
Gissing ---  
Great Moulton
  (St Michael)
Hapton ---  
Hardwick ---  
Hempnall ---  
Morningthorpe ---  
Needham ---  
Pulham St. Mary Magdalen
(or Pulham Market)
Pulham St. Mary-the-Virgin WkHse  
Redenhall with Harleston
(In 1885 part of Mendham
added to this parish *)
Roydon (near Diss) (from 1902)   Guiltcross
Rushall ---  
Scole ---  
Shelfanger (from 1902) WkHse Guiltcross
Shelton ---  
Shimpling ---  
Starston ---  
Stratton St. Mary ---  
Stratton St. Michael ---  
Tacolneston ---  
Tasburgh ---  
Tharston ---  
Thelveton (or Thelton) ---  
Thorpe Abbotts ---  
Thorpe Parva ---  
Tibenham WkHse  
Tivetshall St. Margaret ---  
Tivetshall St. Mary ---  
Wacton ---  
Winfarthing (from 1902) WkHse Guiltcross
Wortwell ---  

Poor Law Records - Transcriptions

List of the names of the Guardians of the Depwade Union who served on the first board and committee members from April 1835. First applicants, includes names and parishes, who were asking for help.

Poor Law Records - Images

Online images of some poor law registers, admissions books etc. from 1796 to 1900 are available at the

  • LDS familysearch website https://www.familysearch.org/ (UK+Ireland records section)
  1. Go down the "Historical Record Collections"
  2. Select Title - "England, Norfolk Poor Law Union Records, 1796-1900"
  3. Select "Browse through xxx images"
  4. Under County pick - "Norfolk"
  5. Under Poor Law Union select the "Required Union"
  6. Records are under headings such as "District, Workhouse & Unknown etc."
  7. Alternatively use a search engine for "familysearch" "Norfolk Poor Law Union Records"

Other Websites

Acts, descriptions, maps, some pictures etc. can be found at :-
                www.workhouses.org.uk (The Story of Workhouses).


Further information can be found:

See also the Poor Law page and the Post 1834 Unions page

These pages are for personal use only. They may not be copied, and the links within them may not be harvested for use on your own web pages. Please see the Copyright Notice.

Copyright © Mike Bristow.
August 2011