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The three-storey main block was based on a central corridor plan.Greenwich is one of the earliest examples of this type of design which became extremely popular — around 150 corridor plan workhouses were built between 18.THAT no Money be allowed by the Overseers to be paid to any Person, but by Order of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace, and the Gentlemen of the Committee then sitting, on a Day appointed Weekly for the Relief of the Poor.
A portrait of life in the workhouse and its school in the early 1860s, from a child's point of view at least, appeared in the Poor Law Board's Annual report in 1874. Describing himself as "a ragged little urchin without shoes and cap", he recalls his arrival at the workhouse at the age of seven: After dinner an old woman came and took all my clothes and then showed me into the bathroom, telling me to get in and not be afraid.
included a IT being observ'd that the Poor are very numerous, and cost about 800 l.
to the Parish annually for supporting them; Two honourable Gentlemen of the Town offer'd to build a commodious House for Lodging and Dieting all those Poor, provided the Parish would consent to dispose of their Weekly Allowances under such a Management, as might, with the Produce of their Labour, wholly maintain them.
Its operation was overseen by an elected Board of Guardians, 20 in number, representing representing its 4 constituent parishes as follows (with numbers of Guardians for each): Greenwich (8); St Nicholas, Deptford (3); St Paul, Deptford (4); Woolwich (5).
The population falling within the Union at the 1831 census had been 62,009 — ranging from St Nicholas, Deptford (population 6,036) to Greenwich itself (24,553).