The Tern Valley Trail

Tiddicross Workhouse

Tiddicross Workhouse


Tiddicross Field, situated to the west of Wrockwardine on the road to Charlton, was purchased for charitable purposes in 1657, when the rents of the property, upon which a house and barn were later built, were divided annually between the poor of the parish. The cost of relieving local poverty rose rapidly during the 17th and 18th Centuries and in 1782 the parish authorities were forced to rent a cottage in which to house the local poor. However, most people requiring assistance received it outside the institution, through cash payments and goods in kind. At that time, the parish included the detached settlement of Wrockwardine Wood, where the need for aid proved to be particularly heavy and was often linked to downturns in local industry.



By 1801, a new parish workhouse was deemed necessary and a purpose-built facility was constructed on Tiddicross Field. Its occupants were principally drawn from the ranks of the elderly and infirm and rarely numbered more than 20. Despite the seemingly frail condition of many of its inhabitants, some amenities, including a number of spinning wheels, were installed for the residents to work upon. The presence of a kitchen, cowhouse, pigsties and brewhouse on site was also intended, in theory at least, to give the institution a level of self-sufficiency, as well as providing the inhabitants with the bread, cheese and beer their hosts were charged with feeding them at least once a week.

By 1814, a salaried workhouse master, who was paid £20 a year, was appointed to oversee the day-to-day running of the institution, while the services of a local doctor were also retained for residents at that time. In 1836, responsibility for providing assistance was transferred to the new Wellington Poor Law Union, although Tiddicross Workhouse, which is now a private property, continued to receive those seeking relief for some time after. When the institution finally closed, the house was divided into four cottages, the annual rents from which were still divided among the poor of the parish in 1907 when £35 was raised for the Tiddicross Charity.