The Eastville Workhouse project was launched in 2012 after some members of Bristol Radical History Group (BRHG) had studied an old ordnance survey map of Ashley Down and Eastville (1902). They noticed that the burial ground for the Barton Regis workhouse at 100 Fishponds Rd, Eastville, marked as ‘disused’ in 1902, made up part of present-day Rosemary Green just round the corner from where they lived. After two years of research, BRHG members had not only gathered significant evidence that suggested the remains of the paupers were present at the site, but from the Bristol Record Office, details of over 4,000 men, women and children from the workhouse who were buried in the unmarked graves.

A number of articles were published by BRHG about the project in the summer of 2014, especially after the Galway babies scandal in June, which demonstrated that unmarked graveyards of the ‘forgotten’ paupers including many babies were commonplace in the UK. As a result the Eastville Workhouse Memorial Group (EWMG) was set up after a successful public meeting with local residents. The aim of the group is to raise funds for a permanent memorial to those who lived and died in Eastville Workhouse. Since the launch of EWMG, a number of people studying their family history have discovered from BRHG data that their ancestors lie in the unmarked graveyard at Rosemary Green.

Rosemary Green Burial Ground Data Sheets

The data sheets that contain the names of those who died in Eastville Workhouse and buried in unmarked graves can be found listed in “Rosemary Green Burial Ground Data“.

The Book

The book 100 Fishponds Rd. Life and Death in a Victorian Workhouse uses a combination of quantitative and qualitative evidence and looks at what life in the Victorian workhouse was like, who the inmates were and how they were treated. It considers their life chances once they entered the institution and what happened to them after they passed away.

The Memorials

Eastville Workhouse Memorial Group raised £10,000 to manufacture and install two memorials to mark the burial sites of the more than 4,000 paupers who were inmates of Eastville Workhouse at 100 Fishponds Road. The first, a Welsh slate standing stone, was unveiled at the site of the workhouse burial ground at Rosemary Green, Eastville in November 2015. In 1972 the Eastville Workhouse buildings were demolished in preparation for the construction of the East Park housing estate. During this process the burial ground at Rosemary green was crudely disinterred and some of the remains were re-interred in unmarked common graves at Avonview Cemetery in nearby St George.  The second memorial, a gravestone, was installed at the site of these common graves at Avonview Cemetery in May 2019. Both memorials were manufactured and installed by local stone mason Matthew Billington.

The Plaque

In December 2016, as part of the Eastville Workhouse history project, a cast aluminium, painted plaque by local artist Mike Baker was unveiled on the surviving gates to the workhouse at 100 Fishponds Rd. The plaque shows a relief of Eastville Workhouse and Fishponds Rd in the late Victorian period and marks the location of the institution which remains a dark, but important, symbol in the history of East Bristol.

Stuff linked to this project...

Articles

The last piece of the jigsaw

Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them Introduction One evening in 2010 some members of Bristol Radical History Group (BRHG) were poring over some old maps of Eastville and discovered a forgotten burial ground at Rosemary Green, just round the corner from where they lived. […] Read More =>
100 Fishponds Road

The Eastville Workhouse Memorials

Where am I? You are on the site of Eastville Workhouse, which opened its doors in 1847. In the 1930s it became an old people's home and was finally demolished in 1972. This page is about the two memorials which are part of the Eastville Workhouse Project. Eastville Workhouse Plaque The plaque is […] Read More =>
Eastvillle Workhouse

100 Fishponds Road

In 2015, the Eastville Workhouse Memorial Group unveiled a memorial for the 4,084 paupers buried in a mass grave at Rosemary Green. We follow them and the Bristol Radical History Group's efforts to correct this historical wrong, and to bring light upon the ever-continuing assault on working people's […] Read More =>

The Rosemary Green Memorial

On this site over 4000 men, women and children who died in Eastville Workhouse, known as 100 Fishponds Road, were buried in unmarked graves. A further 118 were given to the medical school. This memorial stands in regognition of all who lived and died in the workhouse.   Read the programme from […] Read More =>

Eastville Workhouse memorial unveiling programme

This is a copy of the programme handed out at the Eastville Workhouse burail ground memorial unveiling 16/11/2015. Download the programme here... Read More =>

Rosemary Green Burial Ground Data

The files listed on this page contain data by decade of the burials at Rosemary Green (marked "Burial Ground (Disused)" on the map below). These are people who died in Eastville Workhouse and were buried in unmarked graves at the site. The files are for Version 2.0 published November 2015 by Bristol […] Read More =>

Victims of the Poor law

A woman before the courts in 1882 said that she preferred the gaol to Eastville workhouse as ‘in the latter she was three quarter starved and worked to death’ Before the end of the Second World War and the creation of the Welfare state and the National Health Service if you were poor and you got ill […] Read More =>

Eastville Workhouse and the unmarked graves of paupers at Rosemary […]

Bristol Radical History group (BRHG) is making progress on the project to record and respect the paupers buried in unmarked ground behind the old Eastville workhouse (100 Fishponds Rd), now called Rosemary Green. A key marker of disrespect is burying people, seen as worthless in unmarked graves; […] Read More =>

Pamphlets

HAnnah Wiltshire Front Cover

The Life and Death of Hannah Wiltshire

During the year of 1855 rumours of murder and cover up were circulating in the small north Somerset village of Walton-in-Gordano. An epileptic destitute country girl had died in the local institution known as the Bedminster Union Workhouse. Her death caused public outrage after letters were written […] Read More =>

100 Fishponds Rd.

2nd Edition. Revised and substantially expanded. In 2012 some radical historians poring over old maps of East Bristol came across a disused burial ground at Rosemary Green close to the site of Eastville Workhouse at 100 Fishponds Rd. Over the following years a team of local researchers revealed that […] Read More =>

Event Series

Remembering Eastville Workhouse

A series of events linked to the Eastville Workhouse. For more details about the Eastville Workhouse project visit the project page. Read More =>

Events

Bedminster Union Workhouse

As part of their History Week, Bedminster Library (Bedminster Parade, Bedminster, Bristol BS3 4AQ) have a talk by Rosemary Caldicott, author of The Life and Death of Hannah Wiltshire: A Case Study of Bedminster Union Workhouse. Rosemary will tell the the true story of how in 1850s the local […] Read More =>
miscellaneous events 2019

Pauper Graves Memorial Unveiling

In 2012 Bristol Radical History Group launched a project to research into the thousands of unmarked graves of paupers from the Eastville workhouse (at 100 Fishponds Road) who were buried in nearby Rosemary Green. In 2014 the Eastville Workhouse Memorial Group (EWMG) was formed to commemorate and […] Read More =>

Life and death in two Bristol Victorian workhouses

Congresbury History Group, Congresbury Methodist Hall, 2 High St, Congresbury, Bristol BS49 5JA Roger Ball, co-author of 100 Fishponds Rd: Life and death in a Victorian workhouse explains how a team of local researchers revealed that more than 4,000 men, women and children, inmates of Eastville […] Read More =>

Life and death in two Bristol Victorian workhouses

Clevedon Civic Society, St Andrew’s Church Centre, Old Church Road, Clevedon, BS21 7UE Rosemary Caldicott, author of The Life and Death of Hannah Wiltshire: A Case Study of Bedminster Union Workhouse tells the true story of how in 1850s the local community pulled together to uncover murder in the […] Read More =>

Life and Death in two Victorian Workhouses

Downed Local History Society. Downend Folk House, Lincombe Barn, Overndale Road, Downend, Bristol, BS16 2RW Bedminster: the true story of how the local community pulled together to uncover murder in the workhouse. Eastville: The history of life death and burial at 100 Fishponds road. Both speakers […] Read More =>

Plaque to mark Eastville Workhouse at 100 Fishponds Rd

100 Fishponds Rd, Pedestrian Entrance to East Trees Health Centre, Bristol BS5 6BF As part of the ongoing Eastville Workhouse history project a cast aluminium, painted plaque by local artist Mike Baker will be unveiled on the surviving gates to the workhouse at 100 Fishponds Rd. Over eighty years […] Read More =>

Opening the archive

Members of the Eastville Workhouse Memorial Group have used death registers at Bristol Record Office to identify the people given pauper's burials at Rosemary Green adjacent to the site of Eastville Workhouse. They found the names of over 4,000 men, women and children buried in unmarked graves and […] Read More =>

Eastville Workhouse Burial Ground: Memorial Unveiling Ceremony

On Rosemary Green, Eastville, BS5 6LB. Residents of East Park Estate are to unveil a memorial to more than 4,000 men, women and children who died in Eastville’s notorious Workhouse between 1851 and 1895 and were buried in unmarked paupers’ graves in what is now Rosemary Green. A six foot Welsh slate […] Read More =>

Pauper deaths and burials in Victorian England

Funeral ceremonies were very important to middle class Victorians, with detailed and often elaborate rituals to mark the passing of cherished family members and those deemed ‘important’. But for paupers who died in the workhouses, things were very different. Building on continuing research into the […] Read More =>

Eastville Workhouse Planning Meeting

Planning meeting regarding Eastville Workhouse and remembering the paupers buried in Rosemary Green. Thursday 9th October 7.00pm-9.00pm. St Anne's Church, St Leonards Road, Greenbank, Bristol, BS5 6JN It has been over a month since we first met to discuss the 3,500 or so unmarked 'paupers' graves in […] Read More =>

Remembering Eastville Workhouse

Public meeting St Anne's Church, St Leonards Road, Greenbank, Bristol, BS5 6JN Over the last two years local historians from Bristol Radical History Group (BRHG) have been researching an old burial ground that lies on Rosemary Green (BS5 6LB) between Rosemary Lane and Greenbank View in Greenbank, […] Read More =>

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