Bedminster Union Workhouse

The Life and Death of Hannah Wiltshire

Clevedon Library, 37, Old Church Rd, Clevedon BS21 6NN Author Rosemary Caldicott focuses on the draconian workhouse system that housed the vulnerable poor, and in particular women and children. Rosemary will be examining the history of the workhouse by offering an illustrated talk based on evidence extracted from reports published at the time about the violent death of Hannah Wiltshire who resided in Weston in Gordano. The involvement of Sir Arthur Elton of Clevedon Hall is pivotal to this true […]

An Alternative History of Westbury-on-Trym Workhouse

Gilbert’s Act of 1782. ‘An act for the better relief and employment of the poor’

In November, 2019 Louise Ryland-Epton gave an engaging talk entitled ‘By Pity and by Terror? A Contrary View of Workhouses’ at the M Shed, Bristol as part of the UWE Regional History Centre series of talks. As I had read and examined reports on shocking victimisation, neglect, exploitation and dehumanising treatment of later workhouse inmates I was intrigued to hear about an alternative, pre 1834 Poor Law Act, workhouse erected in Westbury-on-Trym. We are all familiar with the many indignant […]

‘Buried like Dogs?’

Pauper death and burial in Victorian Eastville

Elaborate funeral ceremonies became very important to middle-class Victorians, with increasingly meticulous rituals designed to mark the passing of family members. However, for the Victorian poor, things were very different. After the introduction of the 1834 Poor Law Act the customary pauper funeral, subsidised by the parish, came under government scrutiny as a financial and symbolic ‘extravagance’. Instead the need for Poor Law Unions to both save money and demonstrate disgrace in death of […]

The last piece of the jigsaw

Solving the mystery of the forgotten paupers of 100 Fishponds Road

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. Further investigation showed that the site was in fact the burial ground for Eastville Workhouse at 100 Fishponds Road, an enormous institution that had opened in 1847 and whose buildings were demolished […]

Pauper Graves Memorial Unveiling

1.00pm, Wednesday May 8th, Avonview Cemetery, Beaufort Road, St. George, Bristol, BS5 8EN

miscellaneous events 2019
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 memorialise the 4,084 people who lived and died in Eastville workhouse and were interred at the site between 1851 and 1895, along with another 118 inmates' bodies which were sold to medical schools. In […]

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 Workhouse, were interred in unmarked graves in a burial ground that was forgotten for over a century. Rosemary Caldicott, author of The Life and Death of Hannah Wiltshire: A Case Study of Bedminster Union […]

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 Flax Bourton workhouse. 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, […]

100 Fishponds Road

Life and death in a Victorian workhouse

The Kingfisher Cafe, 8 Straits Parade, Fishponds, Bristol BS16 2LE In 2012 some radical historians poring over old maps 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 more than 4,000 men, women and children, inmates of Eastville Workhouse, were interred in unmarked graves in Rosemary Green from 1851-1895. Eastville Workhouse, constructed by Clifton Poor Law […]

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 are from the Bristol Radical History group

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 thousands of men, women and children passed through these gates, driven by poverty, great age or ill-health. Families were separated, endured hard labour and a punitive regime. The plaque shows a relief […]