The Old Workhouse, 58 St Peter’s Street
“Well, I’m only bricks and mortar I suppose, though I’ve outlived those that built me and all the poor souls I’ve harboured. I was built in 1732, ‘For the better employment of the poor of the Parish.’ I also housed the governor, his wife and a specially appointed surgeon to look after all my inmates. Mind, they were made to work and I had a spinning wheel in each room so’s they wouldn’t be idle, a kitchen for their feeding, and a Brewhouse so they wouldn’t go thirsty!
I was built on four levels, counting the cellar, with thirteen rooms in all! I was only a workhouse for 100 years though, in 1836 all my inmates were sent to new Union Workhouse at Oster Hills and I was bought by Elizabeth Crowther for £350!
She passed me on to her nephew, John Horner Rumball, the namesake of my current occupants. Ironic really, built as a Workhouse for the people who couldn’t afford homes of their own and I now sell big expensive houses to the people of St Albans.
Not that I’ve changed much in my 284 years, still being a place of work and built of the selfsame bricks and mortar.”
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