The Workhouse

Upton Road, Southwell, Southwell, Nottinghamshire, NG25 0PT
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The Workhouse


Coronavirus update: For the latest information on coronavirus and how it might impact your travel in and around Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, including information on which venues and attractions are closed, please visit our Know Before You Go page. We recommend that you check the website and social media of individual venues and attractions when planning a visit.


The Workhouse

Built in 1824, this austere building is the most complete workhouse in existence. Pioneering in its design and approach it became a blueprint for similar institutions across the country. For decades, it was where the poorest in society had to work in return for food, shelter and medical care.

Today, we invite you to hear its story, told from the perspective of those who lived and worked here. Bring the family and experience a full programme of living history events, tours and exhibitions. Younger visitors can enjoy children’s trails, games and dressing up with activities and crafts during the school holidays.

In fine weather you can enjoy the recreated Victorian vegetable garden. The garden, which is maintained by volunteers, is planted with heritage varieties and seasonal produce. You can also reflect on your visit in the café where serve hot drinks, soup, sandwiches, cakes and snacks are served.

The Workhouse was built in 1824 as a place of last resort for the poorest who couldn’t work and for those people suffering from unemployment. Firbeck infirmary, built nearly 50 years later in 1871, provided medical care for The Workhouse. Later it became a care ward in the 1970s but had been untouched for decades after closing its doors in the 1980s.

Visitors can now see inside the Firbeck infirmary after an extensive project to restore the derelict building and unlock some of its secrets. The reimagined building depicts how the infirmary cared for people when it first opened in the 1870s, through to its final residential use. Visitors can access several spaces, including the room of the last resident, which encourages reflection on how we care for vulnerable people today.

Book Tickets

Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
Family£20.00 per ticket
One Adult and up to three children£12.00 per ticket

*Standard admission prices. Visitors can choose to pay a voluntary 10% Gift Aid donation which are displayed at the property.

Map & Directions



  • Educational Visits Accepted - School visits available – please contact the property
  • Facilities for Hearing Impaired Visitors - Subtitles on introductory video Hearing loop available
  • Facilities for Visually Impaired Visitors - Virtual tour available for cellars and upper floors Guide Dogs Permitted
  • Guide Dogs Permitted
  • Guided Tours Available for Groups - Pre-booked groups welcome - Maximum group size 50, Minimum group size 15 (Please contact the property)
  • Indoor Attraction
  • Outdoor Attraction
  • Printed Material in Foreign Languages - French, German, Italian & Spanish
  • Toilets for Disabled Visitors - Adapted toilet in car park facilities building and at The Workhouse

Parking & Transport

  • On site parking - Onsite visitor parking - Free parking 200yds from building Seperate mobility parking spaces - please follow signs for 'Staff Car Park' located at the back of the building Drop off point at rear of the building

Provider Preferences

  • In countryside - Just outside of market town of Southwell, Nottinghamshire
  • In Market Town

Opening Times

The Workhouse (16 Feb 2022 - 30 Oct 2022)

* The site is now closed for Winter and will reopen on 16th February 2022.

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Tuesday, 7 April 2020 - Friday, 31 December 2021

The Workhouse Virtual TourBuilt in 1824, The Workhouse in Southwell is the most complete workhouse in existence. Now a museum operated by the National Trust, it offers a fascinating insight into how the poorest members of Victorian society lived.
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