On this day … 9 January 1869

The Preston Guardian reported considerable alarm in Fulwood following the Board of Guardians’ proposal to erect a ‘Tramps’ House’ at the new Workhouse on Watling Street Road. The workhouse had opened two weeks earlier, just over three years since the foundation stone had been laid by Thomas Batty Addison, who had pushed through its establishment in the face of fierce local opposition.

It was one of the many buildings, such as the neighbouring Fulwood Barracks, which benefited from the proximity of the Preston-Longridge railway, opened to bring sandstone from the Longridge quarries.

It replaced four of the five workhouses in the Preston Poor Law Union. The five were: Preston, for females; Ribchester, for males; Woodplumpton for infirm old men; Bamber Bridge for boys; and Penwortham for girls. Ribchester alone survived, to house ‘harmless imbecile paupers’.

Despite the alarm of Fulwood residents, the tramps’ house was opened and passing itinerants were put to work there breaking stones.

Source: Anthony Hewitson’s History of Preston.

Preston Union.
This image comes from Barney Smith’s Preston Digital Archive, where the following information is added, ‘Sepia postcard RP-PPC c.1905. Note the handcart from Maypole’s in Friargate. Also of interest is the ornate cast iron sewer vent at centre, sometimes known as a stink-pipe for obvious reasons and no doubt considered by the photographer to be an impediment to his composition!’

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