Friday, 28 February 2014

Another view of the old workhouse

This view of the former St Thomas' Hospital is from Junction Street looking over the site of Hollands Mill, itself demolished in 2007, only its gateposts remain.

The new Stockport Union Workhouse was erected in 1841. It was designed by Henry Bowman who was also responsible for the Congleton workhouse. It was built at Shaw Heath and was intended to accommodate up to 690 inmates.

The workhouse comprised a two-storey entrance block facing the main road at the south-west. Assorted other buildings were subsequently added at each side. The main accommodation building stood to the rear. It was a substantial red-brick building, largely four storeys high. Males were accommodated at the north side and females at the south. Children's quarters and school rooms were located in cross wings at each end of the main block, with the area to the front containing enclosed boys' and girls' exercise yards. To the rear, the men's and women's sides were divided by the kitchens, dining-hall and bakery. A wash-house and drying ground for laundering linen and clothes were located at the women's side, while a smithy and pig-sties were placed at the men's side.

After 1912, the workhouse was officially known as Stockport Poor Law Institution. It later became Shaw Heath Hospital, then from 1954 was known as St Thomas' Hospital. The hospital finally closed in 2003 and the site acquired by Stockport College as part of their campus expansion plans. Although planned for completion in 2011, the buildings remain derelict.

A closer view of the weather vane can be found in our post of 21st February.

A contribution to Skywatch Friday.


  1. What a sad beginning for this building…. your photo is beautiful.

  2. Sky shot is awesome and fascinating historical post on the building ~ thanks ~

    artmusedog and carol

  3. It's crying out for something to be done.... this looks quite forelorn.

  4. Hope the college gets to renovate them in some way not knock them down completely.
    They are full of history waiting to be told and not repeated.

  5. Nice shot. The asset needs attention.