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Help and advice for Norfolk: Poor Law after 1834 Act

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Norfolk: Poor Law after 1834 Act

Erpingham Union

Union history

  • 1834 - Erpingham Poor Law Union was formed.
  • 1834 - Old workhouses at Gimingham and Sheringham (for the aged and infirm) used. Sold in 1850 and converted to cottages (according to White's 1883 directory). Workhouses at North Walsham and Holt (till c.1836) also taken over for use by the Union.
  • 1836 - Union split into 3 districts :- ie.
    • Cromer District contained the following parishes :-
      Aldborough, Aylmerton, Baconsthorpe, Barningham-Norwood, Barningham-Winter, Beeston Regis, Bessingham, Cromer, East Beckham, Felbrigg, Gresham, Hanworth, Matlaske, Metton, Plumstead, Overstrand, Roughton, Runton, Sheringham, Sustead, Thurgarton and West Beckham.
    • Holt District contained the following parishes:-
      Bayfield, Bodham, Briston, Cley-next-the-Sea, Edgefield, Glandford, Hempstead (by Holt), Holt, Hunworth, Kelling, Letheringsett, Salthouse, Stody, Thornage and Weybourne.
    • North Walsham District contained the following parishes:-
      Antingham, Gimingham, Gunton, Knapton, Mundesley, North Repps, North Walsham, Sidestrand, South Repps, Suffield, Thorpe Market, Trimingham and Trunch.
  • 1850- New workhouse at Mill Road, West Beckham, [Map reference is TG147386].
    Postal Address is "Beckham Palace", Mill Road, Gresham, NR11 8RN
  • Description is in Whites 1845 directory
  • 1884 - In March of that year North Walsham left and joined Smallburgh Union.
  • 1930 - Union dissolved.
  • 1933 - Kelly's directory lists it following the heading "Norfolk No 1 Guardians Committee" as "The West Beckham Institution". Described as "The Institution built in 1851, but partially destroyed on 1st April 1888. The Chapel of the Holy Trinity was erected in 1868". A children's home situated at Gresham is also mentioned.
  • 1937 - Kelly's directory - as 1933.
  • 2005 - Now derelict for many years. Has also been called "Beckham House".

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

Erpingham Union
Pre 1834 Union,
or Parish Work House
Aldborough Aldb-GU
Aylmerton Aldb-GU
  (North Barningham)
  (Barningham Town)
Beckham, East
  (East Beckham)
Beckham, West
  (West Beckham)
Beeston Regis Aldb-GU
Briston WkHse
Cley-next-the-Sea WkHse
Cromer Aldb-GU
Edgefield WkHse
Felbrigg Aldb-GU
Gimingham Gim-GU
Gresham Aldb-GU
Hempstead (by Holt) 
Holt WkHse
Erpingham Union
Pre 1834 Union,
or Parish Work House
Knapton Gim-GU
Mundesley Gim-GU
North Repps Gim-GU
Overstrand Gim-GU
Runton Aldb-GU
Sheringham Aldb-GU
South Repps Gim-GU
Thorpe Market 
Trimingham Gim-GU
Trunch Gim-GU
Walsham, North (to March 1884)
  (North Walsham)
[After 1884 see
Smallburgh Union]

Where "Aldb-GU" = Aldborough Gilbert Union, "Gim-GU" = Gimingham Gilbert Union

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).

Guardians Minute Books

These contain a wealth of information about the workings of each Union including expenditure, suppliers, officials and paupers.

For more information (including transcriptions and indexes to names) see the Minutes of Board Meetings of the Erpingham Union Poor Law Guardians webpages.

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.
June 2012