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Tyne and Wear HER(11779): Sunderland, Chester Road, Union Workhouse - Details

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Sunderland, Chester Road, Union Workhouse



Health and Welfare


Early Modern


Extant Building

Union workhouse, built 1853-5. Architect J.E. Oates (also designed workhouses at Wakefield and Blackburn). It cost £15,300 and could accommodate 500 inmates. On 13th October 1855, 306 inmates were transferred from the old Hartley Street workhouse (HER 13324). In 1867 an additional 12 acre site was purchased next door and new hospital buildings were built. In 1868 Union Schools for 200 childten were built. Lunatic wards for 66 inmates were built, costing £3000. These were extended in 1872, costing £500. In 1871 the workhouse housed 325 men and 342 women. The hospital facilities were expanded in the early 1900s. By 1930 the workhouse site was the Highfield Institute and Municipal Hospital. Later, under the National Health Service, it became Sunderland General Hospital, now Royal Hospital. Under the National Health Service, the hospital became Sunderland General Hospital. In 1996 it was renamed Sunderland Royal Hospital. Many of the 1855 workhouse blocks were demolished in the 1970s to make way for new buildings. The main workhouse building was demolished in the early 2000s.




Kathryn Morrison (English Heritage and Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England), 1999, 'The Workhouse - a study of poor-law buildings in England', p 203; Nigel Green, 2009, Tough Times & Grisly Crimes, page 30; RPS, 2012, Sunderland Royal Hospital, Kayll Road, Sunderland, Archaeological Assessment;

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