Building Name

Prestwich Union Workhouse, Bongs Estate, Crumpsall

Crumpsall, Manchester
GMCA, England
Guardians of the Poor, Prestwich Union
New Build
Robert Neill & Sons

PRESTWICH - New Workhouse —The increase in the population of Prestwich, and the limited accommodation afforded by the present workhouse, have led the guardians of that union to determine the erection of a new workhouse. For this purpose, a plot of land has been purchased at the Bongs, near Crumpsall, having an area of over 18 acres. The building will be a cheap brick structure, treated something after the Italian style; and it will afford accommodation for about 350 inmates. The building will be arranged into three distinct groups—one for probationers and inmates suffering from skin diseases; further to the rear will be the main building, and behind that the hospitals. The arrangements will be geometrical; for every room or arrangement of rooms on the side of the house occupied by the men there will be a corresponding arrangement on the side appropriated to the women. The main building will be two stories high, and will present a frontage of about 300ft. The natural irregularities of the ground will permit of the building standing on a terrace 6ft. high, and it will thus be thrown considerably higher than the front block, and make a picturesque ensemble. Behind the centre of this main building will be the dining hall, 66ft. long by 28ft. wide, and affording accommodation for 100 of either sex; the story above is to be occupied by the chapel. The extreme rear of the workhouse is to be devoted to the hospitals, and the plan decided upon is known as the pavilion principle, similar to the hospital at the Withington workhouse, but with a few improvements in matters of detail. There will be four pavilions, two for each sex, and each two stories high, affording an aggregate accommodation for 128 beds. The pavilions will be more than 100ft. from each other, and the intervening space will be occupied by walks and gardens for the convalescent. The convalescents will also have a dining-room specially provided for them. Each ward will be 44 feet long, 24ft. wide, 14ft. high, and accommodate 12 beds, allowing 88 superficial feet for each patient, and a cubic breathing space of 1,200ft. Ventilation will be effected by means of the windows. The beds will be arranged singly between each window, and not in couplets as at Withington. The exterior appearance of the hospital will accord with the rest of the building, and the sky-line at each corner of the pavilions will be broken by low-roofed turrets, which are practically water tanks, similar to those in the main building. It is said that the drainage of the workhouse will form a subject of some difficulty with the guardians; but the present idea is to utilise it, and throw it upon the farm. A part of the contract for the foundations and levelling has been let, and the building will probably be completed about the autumn of next year. The architect is Mr. T. Worthington, of Manchester, who was also the architect for the pavilion hospital at Withington. [Building News 18 April 1867 page 277-278]

PRESTWICH - The new workhouse and hospital situate at the Cleveland, Crumpsall, cover some three acres of land, with about seventeen surrounding. The buildings and ground are estimated to cost -£10,000, or, it should be stated, the Guardians of the Union have sought borrowing powers for that amount. Mr. T. Worthington, Manchester, is the architect, and Messrs. R. Neild & Sons are the contractors. The building, which at present contains 128 inmates, but is calculated to accommodate 312, is situate in the immediate vicinity of the Manchester workhouse at Crumpsall, and was entered upon by the inmates in September last. Leaving the entrance lodge, almost immediately in front, and occupying the centre of the block, and so arranged as to command ready access to any portion of the house or hospital, are the apartments of the master and the matron. On the right of the rooms occupied by the master are the male wards, and to the left of those occupied by the matron the wards set apart for the female inmates. The first room along each corridor is devoted to a store-room for clothing and material for clothing; that worn by the female inmates being made upon the premises. Adjacent to this, and well lighted, ventilated, and warmed, is a large room termed "the day-room," for old paupers. From this point, the corridor is intercepted, and the visitor enters upon a distinct ward,—that set aside for the imbecile inmates, of whom there are twenty-six at present. On either side of the central building, from the master and matron's apartments, are distinct day-rooms, baths, and yards and offices for male and female imbeciles. Immediately above the wards are the dormitories, and on the ground floor a similar rule is observed. The imbecile dormitories are separated from the other rooms by doors, rendering each a distinct and independent ward. A similar observance is visible in the separation of the able-bodied paupers' apartments. At right angles to the main building, and connecting it with the premises in the rear, is the chapel, situate immediately over the general dining-hall. From this point,—the chapel occupying the centre of the whole block,—wash-houses, laundries, drying rooms, and baking departments are ranged. Separated by a covered passage-way from the other buildings, the fever and hospital wards are erected in the rear of the buildings. Hospital accommodation is afforded in four separate wards for thirty-two patients in each. In constructing the new building, the Prestwich Board, according to the new legislative enactment, found it necessary to supply 1,200 cubic feet per inmate. [Builder 16 April 1870 page 311]

Reference    Manchester Guardian 11 April 1867 page 2 - description
Reference    Building News 18 April 1867 page 277-278 – abridged description
Reference    Manchester Guardian Saturday 5 December 1868 Page 2 – contracts
Reference    Builder 16 April 1870 page 311