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Help and advice for Norfolk: Poor Law after 1834 Act

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Norfolk: Poor Law after 1834 Act

Thetford Union

Union history

  • 1835 - Thetford Poor Law Union was formed.
  • Consisted of 20 Norfolk and 14 Suffolk parishes
  • 1836 - Workhouse at Bury Road, Thetford, IP24 3EG, [Map reference TL870822].
  • Description is in Whites 1845 directory
  • 1858 - Feltwell Fen Farms (Wood's and Jacob's Farms) and Snarehill (comprising the hamlets of Great & Little Snarehill) joined sometime after this date.
  • 1864 - Redmere and Feltwell-Anchor joined.
  • 1866 - Redmere moved to Ely Union.
  • 1902 - Gained parishes from Guiltcross Union.
  • 1930 - Union dissolved.
  • 1933 - Kelly's directory (under Swaffham) has a section "Norfolk No 11 Area Guardians Committee" which says "Thetford Institution erected in 1836 has room for about 170 inmates and has a chapel adjoining". Also mentioned is a Children's Home in Old Market Street, Thetford.
  • 1937 - Kelly's directory - as 1933
  • 1940's - St Barnabas' Hospital.
  • 1973 - Closed.
  • 1974 - Demolished and housing built on site - area near St. Barnabas Close.

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

Thetford Union
Pre 1834 Union,
or Parish Work House
Pre 1902 Union
(if not Thetford)
Blo' Norton (from 1902)   Guiltcross
Bridgham (from 1902)   Guiltcross
Croxton (near Thetford)    
East Wretham    
Feltwell-Anchor (from 1864)    
Feltwell Fen Farms (after 1858)    
Feltwell St Mary
  & St Nicholas
Garboldisham (from 1902) WkHse Guiltcross
Gasthorpe (from 1902)   Guiltcross
Harling, East (from 1902)
  (East Harling)
WkHse Guiltcross
Harling, West (from 1902)
  (West Harling)
Hockwold cum Wilton WkHse  
Lopham, North (from 1902)
  (North Lopham)
Lopham, South (from 1902)
  (South Lopham)
Methwold WkHse 
Northwold WkHse  
Redmere (1864-1865)
(1866 onwards in Ely Union *)
Riddlesworth (from 1902)   Guiltcross
Santon (or
  Santon House)
Snarehill (Great & Little
(after 1858)
Thetford St Cuthbert WkHse 
Thetford St Mary WkHse 
Thetford St Peter WkHse  
Weeting All Saints    
West Tofts    
West Wretham    
Whittington (from 1874)
(Created from part
of Northwold)

Places in Suffolk
Coney Weston
  (Weston Coney)
Fakenham Magna
  (Great Fakenham)
Places in Suffolk
Market Weston
  (Weston Market)
Santon Downham

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).


* - Redmere (or Redmore) in Clackclose Hundred, was extra parochial. The "Extra Parochial places Act" (implemented in 1858) abolished this status and any remaining at this time became civil parishes.

Further information can be found:

See also the Poor Law page, the Post 1834 Unions page and the GENUKI Suffolk pages.

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.
November 2014