Great Grandad’s workhouse.

I commented, yesterday, that my great grandfather had spent time in a workhouse and suggested that his was nothing like the one at Southwell.

In fact, when I check up I find it was probably not so different for I realise that by the time great grandfather was a resident, the union workhouse had been built. It looked like this. This picture dates from the buildings time as an old people’s home.

This picture comes from


My Great Grandfather, James was born in 1851 and he was just about 4 when his parents, older brother and younger sister ran out of money and had to go to the poor house. This is what the records show.

Uckfield Union Workhouse

Mayfield, Sussex

James Frost born 1827, Labourer – 47 days – 25.3.1855

Hannah Frost born 1831, Labourer – 47 days – 25.3.1855

George Frost born 1850 – 47 days – 25.3.1855

James Frost born 1851 – 47 days – 25.3.1855

Mary Frost born 1853 – 47 days – 25.3.1855

The stay may have seemed endless to young James and, no doubt to parents who would have been kept apart. But it was only 47 days. I wonder if James senior had an injury or illness and was unable to work. He had been an agricultural labourer before and was afterwards, living into the 1890s.

Anyway, and no doubt thankfully, he was able to return to a home somewhere and continue labouring. He and wife Hannah had nine more children and, as far as I know were never inmates again although their address in 1861 was ‘The Old Workhouse’ at Buxted.


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2 Responses to “Great Grandad’s workhouse.”

  1. TheLifeBot Says:

    Having had two ancestors die in the Workhouse and no doubt others having dealings with it, I researched it. Norman Longmate’s book on the subject is excellent and I recommend it.

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