The index has been created by the Sheffield District Family History Society. They have transcribed the workhouse admission registers held by the Sheffield Archives.
Place and county
Source and reference
The Ecclesall Bierlow workhouse was first built at the Sharrow Moor and could house 60 to 80 inmates, but in 1839 a new building was bought on Cherry Tree Hill. Later the site was expanded to include an asylum block, vagrants’ wards, laundry block, and children’s cottage homes. The Master’s home was located on the north side of the workhouse. It also had space for boys’ training workshops in tailoring and shoemaking.
Until 1834 these workhouses were overseen at the local parish level. Then in 1834, the Poor Law Amendment Act changed everything, shifting provision for the poor away from parish level on to separately administered Poor Law Unions.
Workhouses were designed with a deterrent in mind. They were for the truly destitute, those who genuinely had nowhere else to go. Inmates were strictly segregated. The old and the young, men and women, the fit and infirm were all grouped separately. Families only had a few brief hours together once a week. Food was plain and monotonous and inmates were expected to work for their keep. Tasks included pulling apart old ropes for reuse or grinding corn for flour on treadmills.