Monument record BRH 038 - Workhouse Lane; Pesthouse Lane; Bosmere and Claydon Incorporated Hundred Workhouse

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Bosmere and Claydon Incorporated Hundred Workhouse, erected in 1766; separate pesthouse and Isolation Hospitals and two cemeteries. Buildings demolished, cemeteries may survive.


Grid reference Centred TM 1235 5120 (324m by 383m) (Centred on)
Map sheet TM15SW


Type and Period (3)

Full Description

Bosmere and Claydon Incorporated Hundred Workhouse. Erected in 1766, background information in (S1).
1835: Made a Union house and extended to accommodate 500.
1831: housed 429; 1841: housed 183; 1851: housed 413; 1891: housed 85. For a description in 1837 see (R1).
1912: Bosmere and Claydon RDC meets at Union Workhouse every four weeks on Friday. Isolation Hospital/Infectious Diseases Hospital built on N side of Workhouse Lane in late C19/C20(?) (included in HER'd site April 2009).
1975: Partially derelict (S3).
E half of H block demolished (A14 road built along E edge of site). Former Pest House buildings, at TM 1222 5100, mapped from 1880s and later, also now demolished (perhaps in gravel pit to S). Burial ground S of workhouse shown on 1880s and later maps, two disused burial grounds, includes one N of Pest House on 1900s and later mapping (S2).
An area to the north of Pesthouse Lane of 2.9 hectares was evaluated by trial trenching to investigate the archaeological potential of the site. Trenching revealed that the majority of the site had been severely disturbed and truncated during the 20th century and this was probably due to this area being used as a compound for works being undertaken on the A45 trunk road adjacent. The area of the 18th and 19th century cemetery had however been left mainly undisturbed and the location of the burials were probably either marked or known about and were avoided during the modern earthmoving works. Part of a red-brick wall footing, believed to belong to the workhouse chapel, appeared to define the northern edge of the cemetery. Within the six trenches excavated to the south of the chapel the outlines of at least 76 graves were identified. Five of these burials were excavated to reveal either human remains and/or coffin stains and these examples indicated that the burials were located at least 1m below the present ground surface and that bone preservation was extremely good. No archaeological remains of earlier periods were identified. It is likely that the disturbance caused by intensive post-medieval grave digging coupled with the severe truncation caused by 20th century earth-moving beyond the cemetery area would have removed most if not all traces of previous occupation (S5).
During the First World War, the building was occupied by either troops or prisoners of war and during the Second World War it housed Italian prisoners of war (S6).

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <M1> Unpublished document: Suffolk Archaeological Service. Parish file. Parish file: copy (S2).
  • <R1> (No record type): Day J, Description of Barham Workhouse, Suffolk, ms, SRO parish folder.
  • <S1> (No record type): Dymond D & Martin E (eds), An Historical Atlas of Suffolk, 1988, 96-97.
  • <S2> Map: OS. OS Map. OS, 1:2500 map, sheet no LXVI.10, 1926.
  • <S3> (No record type): Goult W, A Survey of Suffolk Parish History: E Suffolk A-H, SCC, 1990.
  • <S4> (No record type): OS, 1st ed 1 inch map, 1838.
  • <S5> Unpublished document: Meredith, J.. 2012. Archaeological Evaluation Report, Land North of Pesthouse Lane, Barham, Suffolk.
  • <S6> Index: English Heritage. Pastscape.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Sep 7 2013 9:39AM

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