Norfolk: Poor Law


Mitford and Launditch Union 1835 - 1930

Union history

  • 1835 - Became a Union. Old "House of Industry" became the Union Workhouse. It was formed from parishes in the Mitford and Launditch Incorporation and some additional parishes.
  • Description is in Whites 1845 directory.
  • 1835 - 10 parishes from Eynsford Hundred added to Union marked "(*)" in table below.
  • 1836 - Workhouse School established.
  • 1838 - Graveyard ("Museum orchard" used from 1785) was now consecrated.
  • 1851 - Industrial Farm.
  • 1868 - Chapel Built.
  • 1871 - Fever Ward built.
  • 1900 - Burials ceased at site. Subsequently those who died were buried in their own parishes.
  • 1930 - Union dissolved.
  • 1930 - Renamed "Gressenhall Public Assistance Institution".
  • 1933 - Kelly's directory describes it under "Norfolk No 10 Guardians Committee" as "The Institution available for 150 inmates".
  • 1937 - Kelly's directory - as 1933
  • Called "Beech House" at some point after 1937.
  • 1939-45 - WWII - Soldiers billeted for part of the war.
  • 1948 - Housed "Old People", "Children" and "Homeless Families".
  • 1975 - Closed and becomes a Museum of Rural Life, Beech House, Gressenhall, East Dereham, Norfolk, NR20 4DR, [Map reference is TF976170].

Before 1835 some of these parishes belonged to Gilbert Unions, Incorporations or had their own Work or Parish House (WkHse) as shown.

Mitford and Launditch Union
Pre 1835 Union,
or Parish Work House
Bawdeswell (*) Bawdeswell-GU
Beeston (cum Bittering) MitL-I
Beetley MitL-I
Billingford (near
  East Dereham) (*)
Bilney, East
  (East Bilney)
Bintry (*) Bawdeswell-GU
Bittering Parva
  (Little Bittering)
Brisley MitL-I
Bylaugh (*) Bawdeswell-GU
Colkirk MitL-I
Cranworth MitL-I
Dereham, East
  (East Dereham)
  (from 1836)
Dunham, Great
  (Great Dunham)
Dunham, Little
  (Little Dunham)
Elmham, North
  (North Elmham)
Elsing (*)  
Foxley (*) Bawdeswell-GU
Fransham, Great
  (Great Fransham)
Fransham, Little
  (Little Fransham)
Garveston MitL-I
Gateley MitL-I
Gressenhall MitL-I
Guist (*)  
Hardingham MitL-I
Hockering MitL-I
Hoe MitL-I
Horningtoft MitL-I
Kempston MitL-I
Letton MitL-I
Mitford and Launditch Union
Pre 1835 Union,
or Parish Work House
Lexham, East
  (East Lexham)
Lexham, West
  (West Lexham)
Litcham MitL-I
Longham MitL-I
Lyng (*) Bawdeswell-GU
Mattishall MitL-I
Mattishall Burgh MitL-I
Mileham MitL-I
Oxwick MitL-I
Pattesley MitL-I
Reymerston MitL-I
Rougham MitL-I
Scarning MitL-I
Shipdham MitL-I
Southburgh MitL-I
Sparham (*) Bawdeswell-GU
Stanfield MitL-I
Swanton Morley MitL-I
Thuxton MitL-I
Tittleshall MitL-I
Tuddenham, East
  (East Tuddenham)
Tuddenham, North
  (North Tuddenham)
Twyford (*)  
Weasenham All Saints MitL-I
Weasenham St. Peter MitL-I
Wellingham MitL-I
Wendling MitL-I
Westfield MitL-I
Whinburgh MitL-I
Whissonsett MitL-I
Wood Rising MitL-I
Worthing MitL-I
Yaxham MitL-I

"Bawdeswell-GU" = Bawdeswell Gilbert Union.
"MitL-I" = Mitford and Launditch 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).


Reid, Andy
The Union Workhouse
Pope, Stephen
Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse: A History of the Buildings and the People Who Lived and Worked in Them

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.
September 2014