Norfolk: Poor Law after 1834 Act


Kings Lynn Union

Union history

  • 1835 - Kings Lynn Poor Law Union was formed from all parishes in the Kings Lynn Incorporation and some other parishes.
  • Used old workhouses St James' hospital in St. Margaret and one in All Saints parish (South Lynn)
  • Description is in Whites 1845 directory.
  • 1856 - New "St James Workhouse" opened. Location is at Extons Road, Kings Lynn, PE30 5NU, [Map reference is TF623198].
  • 1930 - Union dissolved.
  • 1933 - Kelly's directory has under the section "Norfolk No 8 Area Guardians Committee" - "Poor Law Institution, Exton's Road erected in 1856 will hold 468 inmates; a new wing was added in 1902; an infirmary is situated a short distance from the main building".
  • 1937 - Kelly's directory - as 1933 but includes entry for Institution at Gayton (old Freebridge Lynn Union)
  • 1940's - Called "St James' Hospital" (NHS).
  • 1980's - Closed.

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

Kings Lynn Union
Pre 1834 Union,
or Parish Work House
    King's Lynn, All Saints [alias South Lynn]Kings Lynn-I
    King's Lynn, St. MargaretKings Lynn-I
    North Lynn (St Edmund) 
    West Lynn (St. Peter) [alias Old Lynn] 

Where "Kings Lynn-I" = Kings Lynn Incorporation.

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.
May 2011