Norfolk: Poor Law


Norwich Incorporation (to 1863)

& Norwich Union (from 1863)

Incorporation history

  • 1710/1 - Norwich Incorporation was formed by a local Act of Parliament.
  • c.1712 - House of Industry used was on Bridge Street - this was the Blackfriars Hall complex. St Andrews Hill/George Street, NR3 1AU, [Map reference is TG2315008821]. Buildings also called "Duke's Palace Workhouse".
  • 1725-1901 Leases of Pesthouse (for poor) near St Augustines Gate. This is "Lazar House", Gilman Road/Magdalen Road, NR3 4JB, - NRO has records.
  • 1827 - Norwich Workhouse Amendment Act.
  • 1834 - Incorporation status kept.
  • 1859 - Workhouse at Bowthorpe Road, Norwich (at Heigham), NR2 3UD, [Map reference is TG209088].
  • 1863 - Incorporation dissolved.

Union history

  • 1863 - Norwich Union formed (July).
    • St. Mary-in-the-Marsh (Cathedral Close &c.) joined.
    • The area (previously extra parochial) called Castle Precincts which comprised "Shire Hall, County Goal and House of Correction" joined.
    • Heigham split into districts of "North Heigham" and "South Heigham".
    • Parish of St. Clement denoted as "Clement (within)" and "Clement (without)" in some records.
  • 1930 - Union dissolved.
  • 1933 - Kelly's directory describes it under "Public Assistance Committee" as "The Public Assistance Institution, Bowthorpe Road completed in 1859 and 1860 will hold 1030 inmates (inclusive of infirmary)". A new Infirmary (female wing) was erected in 1910 for 119 patients. Total accomodation for the sick is 280. Headquarters and Receiving homes, Turner Road. Scattered Homes :- Brooklyn, 58 Earlham Road; Llandaf House, Grove Road; (No 1) 10, North Walsham Road; (No 2) 12, North Walsham Road; (No 3) 96, Aylsham Road.
  • 1937 - Kelly's directory - as 1933
  • Now called "West Norwich Hospital".
  • 1959 - Buildings mostly demolished.

Norwich Incorporation (and later Union)

consisted of the following:-

All Saints
Earlham St. Mary
Eaton St. Andrew
Hellesdon (Hamlet of
  -rest in St. Faiths Union)
St. Andrew
St. Augustine
St. Benedict
St. Clement
St. Edmund
St. Etheldred
St. George Colegate
St. George Tombland
St. Giles
St. Gregory
St. Helen
St. James
St. John Maddermarket
St. John Sepulchre
St. John Timberhill
St. Julian
St. Lawrence
St. Margaret
St. Martin-at-Oak
St. Martin-at-Palace
St. Mary-at-Coslany
St. Mary-in-the-Marsh (from 1863)
St. Michael-at-Coslany
St. Michael-at-Plea
St. Michael-at-Thorne
St. Paul
St. Peter Hungate
St. Peter Mancroft
St. Peter-per-Mountergate
St. Peter Southgate
St. Saviour
St. Simon & St. Jude
St. Stephen
St. Swithin
Thorpe (hamlet)
Town Close
Trowse Millgate
Carrow & Bracondale

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).


Pound, Dr John F.
Norwich Census of the Poor 1570
Norfolk Record Society, Vol XL

Further information can be found:

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

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Copyright © Mike Bristow.
June 2016