The two final talks in The Workhouse winter programme take place during January 2016. These talks give visitors to the National Trust property an opportunity to delve deeper into an aspect of Workhouse history, enjoy a light lunch and a guided tour.
‘The Peer, the Paupers and the Poetry’ on Friday 15 January (11am-1.30pm) will explore the relationship between Lord Byron and The Workhouse, especially its founder Rev. John Becher. It will look at myths surrounding both Byron and The Workhouse created through literature and the extent to which our view of history has been forged as much by fiction as by fact.
‘Taking your word’ on Friday 29 January (11am-1.30pm) will describe the vital role played by oral history in unravelling The Workhouse’s later history. Using real life stories dating back to the 1920s, personal testimonies capture what life was like during a period of great social change. The talk will explore tales of sadness, helplessness and despair but also of resilience, fortitude and friendship in the face of the harsh realities of Workhouse life.
The talks cost £12.50 and include a light lunch and guided tour. Please pre-book by calling 01636 817260.
The Workhouse is currently closed and will re-open for the 2016 season on Saturday 13 February.
The Workhouse was built in 1824 as a place of last resort for the poor and needy. The creation of Reverend JT Becher, its architecture, influenced by prison design and its harsh regime became a blueprint for workhouses throughout the country.