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Southwell Workhouse

(16 Posts)
Tegan Wed 05-Aug-15 19:12:52

Went there yesterday as trying to visit as many National Trust properties as possible this year and, although we don't live far away from it,we've never got round to going.Wondered if anyone else had been? We both agreed that we came away with no sense of the past and did mention it to the staff there. They said that most people prefer the bareness of it as it allows them to use their imagination, but we felt our imagination needed more information and a bit of a kick start. Also the tearoom there was very basic and I thought that NH properties did quite well from the income from their tearooms. They did say that there isn't a lot of information/photos etc about workhouses as they weren't deemed to be of interest at the time but I have found quite a lot of stuff on the internet that's interesting. 24 Hours in the Past filmed there and donated furniture etc so some of the rooms aren't as sparse as they had been; I'm hoping the programme might be on catchup; if not it might have been a good idea for the Workhouse to show the programme to visitors? We have ben to other National Trust properties where they don't listen to critiscism [the people working there have told us so]. Am I just being mrsgrumpy about it sad?

Jane10 Wed 05-Aug-15 19:16:46

No you're not. It sounds like a real missed opportunity.

rosesarered Wed 05-Aug-15 19:19:02

A bit of dressing does wonders for a place, and after all, some people have no imagination.

Nandalot Wed 05-Aug-15 19:38:48

We went on a very cold day which certainly added to atmosphere! Perhaps we were lucky as we had some informative room stewards. Also there was one bedroom with beds if I remember rightly and the '70s flat for the homeless family was fully furnished. So, no, the lack of furnishings didn't bother us.

We didn't use the tea room so can't comment. Had tea at Southwell Minster. The two together make a great day out.

durhamjen Wed 05-Aug-15 19:44:32

Washington Old Hall has a very basic tea-room. You wouldn't go there for lunch. However, the hall itself is extremely interesting, with its links to George Washington, and the walled garden is pleasant to sit in.
I watched 24 Hours in the Past, but only realised a lot later that it was in Southwell Workhouse. Of course, there are not that many workhouses still available, so I should have guessed.

Somewhere that my husband and I always said we would go to was Bolsover Castle. Is that near you,Tegan? Is it worth visiting? Obviously I'll be on my own now, not with my husband, but I could visit it on the way to see friends near Peterborough.

Tegan Wed 05-Aug-15 20:11:59

I love Southwell itself; in fact we were going to go there on Sunday but I said I couldn't possibly go there on a day when the shops were closed. We usually go when it's the folk festival and the streets are full of Morris Dancers. My favourite eatery is the Old Theatre deli. And, of course we go racing there too [they do great fish and chips at the racecourse]. I'm hoping that 24 Hours in the Past is on catchup; I bet it's on utube but I still can't get onto utube. There weren't many room stewards yesterday; two at the most; I did ty to discuss body lice with the steward in the delousing room [I thought she'd be interested confused but she seemed a bit squeamish so I moved on to the laundry instead. I've never been to Bolsover Castle; didn't Lucy Worsley do a programme about it a while back? It's quite close to Hardwick Hall which is worth going to [must go back there]. Going to Mr Straws House tomorrow; talk about going from one extreme to the other [I hope I don't break anything blush]. The new Civil War museum is proving very popular at the moment. Now now jen; we know very well you wouldn't be on your way to Peterborough but partaking of tea with Dennis wink. But, if you do stop off in that area let me know and we'll meet up with you smile.

Tegan Wed 05-Aug-15 20:18:36

Damn; it's on utube but not catchup. There was a workhouse in my village that was pulled down a few years ago. The nightwatchman who was watching over the area ran screaming to the farm across the road one night; no one ever told us what it was he saw shock.

granjura Wed 05-Aug-15 20:28:17

Southwell Minster (I think that is its 'title') is a wonderful Norman Cathedral in miniature and absolutely wonderful.

durhamjen Wed 05-Aug-15 20:30:26

We went to Hardwick Hall - both of them as we were members of EH as well - when we were travelling round for my husband's 65th. I went up the top and took photos and a video of the Old Hall, while my husband sat in the grounds below. Quite sad, as he was an architect, and at that time could not look at the top of buildings like that without losing his balance. However, we did manage to go up the Mill, too; the miller was quite solicitous because of the way he was walking. An amazing story.
I'll let you know when I go for tea with Dennis, Tegan.

Tegan Wed 05-Aug-15 20:47:00

Give him my love jen grin. We saw Show of Hands do an accoustic set at the Minster; that was brilliant. It's also funny when the Bishop blesses the black faced Morris Dancers there when they do the 'Gate to Southwell' grin.

Nelliemoser Wed 05-Aug-15 23:24:03

I went to both the workhouse and the minster a couple of weeks ago. The workhouse was well presented and incredibly grim and Southwell Minster and Gardens were lovely. Worth a visit.

Nelliemoser Wed 05-Aug-15 23:32:14

nything like a comfortable tea room would rather spoil the whole effect of the place I can vouch for the refectory in the Cathedral close.

Teetime Thu 06-Aug-15 09:27:38

We didn't renew our NT membership last year as we felt we had had enough and that some of the places we visited weren't worth the petrol costs- NT seems to have this policy now of not 'dressing' rooms and as I prefer interiors to exteriors I felt rather flat on these visits. Also it seems NT properties and their tearooms have put their prices up tremendously. Having worked in several hospitals which had been workhouses I felt I had already seen enough of these so no I haven't been to this one - driven past it a few times and shuddered.

Nelliemoser Thu 06-Aug-15 09:58:06

Teetime Our "local", Little Moreton Hall, has very few soft furnishings just a couple of tables etc.

I don't think they often import furnishings that were not already in the house. Soft furnishings are incredibly expensive to maintain and preserve.

Have you been to Wightwick Manor outside Wolverhampton? A glorious arts and crafts house. One you could really live in. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wightwick-manor/

Also near you I think. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/stoneywell/ in Leicestershire.
Once I have seen these places I find the huge stateley homes far less attractive.

Tegan Thu 06-Aug-15 10:29:52

Our village workhuse became a geriatric hospital and was then pulled down and houses built on the site; there's no way that I would live in one of those houses although I've not heard of anything spooky happening since the demolition. Wightwick Manor is wonderful. We went there when my daughter was studying William Morris; must go back one day. I'm still glad I've got my NT membership as we often stop off at places [eg Fountains Abbey the other week] that we wouldn't have paid for as we didn't have enough time to spend the whole day there. I'm really looking forward to Mr Straws House!

Nandalot Thu 06-Aug-15 11:11:34

Belton House near Grantham is beautifully dressed. The current theme, at least last year, was to set each room out as a different time of day and what you would be doing then. When we went they had a sumptuous dining table, silver galore, but I think some of that was on loan. It was an incredible weight but I can't remember how much exactly, Belton House is our 'local' and has a fantastic adventure playground which was totally refurbished over last winter. Have been twice this week with our local twins DGCs and the 3 visiting ones from Spain. Have had our money's worth many times over.