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Summer activities at The Workhouse, Southwell

The exterior of the Workhouse, Southwell, Nottinghamshire. The Workhouse was a nineteenth-century institution for paupers, built by the Revd. John Becher in 1824.

There is a special family focus to activities this summer at The Workhouse. The National Trust property will be open every day during August when there will be a number of regular events for both children and adults to enjoy.

The popular Graft, Gruel and Good-for-Nothings living history day on Wednesday 27 July 12noon-4pm is themed as ‘A Poor Law Inspector Calls’. Set in July 1849 and based on historical research a series of scenarios performed by costumed volunteers tell of an overzealous Poor Law Inspector, Mr Farnall, who during his first eight months in the role made no less than three visits to The Workhouse. Find out what he found to complain about and how the Master, Matron and schoolteacher defended their actions. The paupers are sure to voice their views too, as they chat to visitors and try to get them to help with the laundry, wood chopping, stone breaking and vegetable preparation or join a school lesson.

During the school holidays family focused events run on regular days of the week. On Mondays visitors can help inmates with their jobs, on Fridays they can join a ‘Pauper’s Yarn’ family tour at 11.15am and then have a go at craft activities (12noon-3.30pm), while on Saturdays they can pick vegetables with paupers (12noon-4pm).

For those who enjoy playing with new technology there is a unique opportunity to personalise your visit on Mondays and Tuesdays in August. Using innovative approaches visitors can select their own route round the building and follow a particular character’s experience of living or working in the institution.

It is not too late to participate in the ‘Ballad for Southwell’ drop-in sessions, as creative fellow Chris T-T will be in residence over lunchtime in the Day Room café during July (21-23) and August (3-5 and 12-13). A Ballad for Southwell has been created, and is co-ordinated in partnership with curatorial collective CommonAs, supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Testing new approaches to experiencing the site is part of the ‘Re-imagining The Workhouse’ initiative which aims to engage visitors in using creative arts and innovative technology to explore the building in new ways and help shape the site’s future role.

For further information please call 01636 817260 or see: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/theworkhouse


Posted on 13 July 2016

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