Open a form to report problems or contribute information

1 Introduction 2 Message details 3 Upload file 4 Submitted
Page 1 of 4

Help and advice for Norfolk: Poor Law after 1834 Act

If you have found a problem on this page then please report it on the following form. We will then do our best to fix it. If you are wanting advice then the best place to ask is on the area's specific email lists. All the information that we have is in the web pages, so please do not ask us to supply something that is not there. We are not able to offer a research service.

If you wish to report a problem, or contribute information, then do use the following form to tell us about it. We have a number of people each maintaining different sections of the web site, so it is important to submit information via a link on the relevant page otherwise it is likely to go to the wrong person and may not be acted upon.

Norfolk: Poor Law after 1834 Act

Downham Union

Union history

  • 1834 - Downham Poor Law Union was formed.
  • 1836 - Workhouse opened at Howdale Road, Downham Market, PE38 9AG, [Map reference TF613030]
  • Description is in Whites 1845 directory
  • 1895 - West Welney (That part of Welney in Cambridgeshire was transferred to Norfolk and created as a separate civil parish - note not ecclesiastical).
  • 1896 - Downham West was a civil parish created from Downham Market.
  • 1909 - Note that Nordelph (in Wisbech Union) was created from parts of Denver, Downham West, Outwell, Stow Bardolph and Upwell.
  • 1930 - Union dissolved.
  • 1933 - Kelly's directory lists it following the heading "Norfolk No 9 Guardians Committee" as "The Institution at the entrance of the town from the London Road, will hold 153 inmates".
  • 1937 - Kelly's directory - as 1933.
  • Also called "Howdale Home"
  • 1968 - Many buildings demolished - some remain.
  • Pre 2007 - "High Haven" a Residential Home was built on part of the site.

Before 1834 some of these parishes had their own Work or Parish House (WkHse) as shown.

Places Earlier Work
or Parish House
Barton Bendish 
Denver WkHse
Dereham, West
  (West Dereham)
Downham Market WkHse
Downham West
  (West Downham) (from 1896)
Hilgay WkHse
Holme next Runcton
  (Runcton Holme)
Runcton, South
  (South Runcton)
Places Earlier Work
or Parish House
Stoke Ferry 
Stow-Bardolph WkHse
Stradsett WkHse
Tottenhill WkHse
Wallington cum
Welney WkHse
Welney, West
  (West Welney) (from 1895)
Wiggenhall St. German 
Wiggenhall St. Mary
Wiggenhall St. Mary
  the Virgin
Wiggenhall St. Peter 
Wimbotsham WkHse

Poor Law Records - Images

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

  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."

Other Websites

Acts, descriptions, maps, some pictures etc. can be found at :-
       (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 2015