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A Lee
26-04-2006, 9:32 PM
Is anyone familiar with Swaffield Road Union Workhouse? (Also referred to as Garratt Lane Workhouse)

Anyone familiar with my previous posts will know that I am trying to solve a bit of a family mystery. I was just searching the LMA under workhouses for a possible lead and I'm sure I have come across both the above streets in my research (I do need to go back and cross refer).
It seems reasonable that a woman who obviously had an illegitimate child (I've established that much) would have to spend some of her time in a workhouse.

My grandfather was born in 1921 and I have read that Swaffield Road workhouse was closed in 1930.
Firstly, does anyone have any family connections there at that time?
Secondly, does anyone know how I could obtain records without paying someone or taking a trip to Wandsworth? Or am I just being lazy!

Peter Goodey
26-04-2006, 10:02 PM
Was it 1921? I seem to have got it into my head that it was 1931 in which case I may have misled you.

It was the Boards of Guardians that were wound up in 1930 and responsibilities passed to the County Councils.

According to my references, there are birth registers for Swaffield Road for 1886-1936 and admission/discharge registers 1919-1930. The workhouse website says that when the LCC took over it was renamed the Brocklebank Institution. I can't get into anything else at the moment to check what others say.

Generally speaking (it doesn't seem to quite apply in this case), archives will have post-1930 records filed under the County Council and pre-1930 records under the Board of Guardians.

A Lee
26-04-2006, 10:15 PM
Thanks Peter.

For the record my grandfather was born in 1921, but the only birth certificate we found in his house after he died a couple of years ago was a copy obtained in 1932. I am assuming it may have been acquired when he did the '11plus', but I don't suppose that is relevant anyway!

Are you saying that workhouses did continue in some capacity after the 1930's just under different 'management' as it were?

Peter Goodey
26-04-2006, 10:53 PM
Essentially, the old poor laws carried on until after WW2 and the creation of the welfare state. The changes in 1930 didn't really amount to a root and branch reform. Names changed but not a lot else. It was a lot more enlightened than it was a century before, though! Earlier reforms had meant that the Guardians already reflected local politics so council control didn't lead to dramatic changes.

I think the Southwell workhouse - now owned by the National Trust and well worth a visit - was still in use in the 1950s or 1960s and being used to house homeless families.

Even after the NHS was formed, some people were still reluctant to use the hospitals which had once been workhouse infirmaries - the old stigmas died hard.

A Lee
27-04-2006, 10:00 PM
Thanks Peter. I'm learning something!

marymog
28-04-2006, 12:21 AM
Is anyone familiar with Swaffield Road Union Workhouse? (Also referred to as Garratt Lane Workhouse)

Anyone familiar with my previous posts will know that I am trying to solve a bit of a family mystery. I was just searching the LMA under workhouses for a possible lead and I'm sure I have come across both the above streets in my research (I do need to go back and cross refer).
It seems reasonable that a woman who obviously had an illegitimate child (I've established that much) would have to spend some of her time in a workhouse.

My grandfather was born in 1921 and I have read that Swaffield Road workhouse
was closed in 1930.
Firstly, does anyone have any family connections there at that time?

Secondly, does anyone know how I could obtain records without paying someone or taking a trip to Wandsworth? Or am I just being lazy!

I was born and bred in that area. The Swaffield Road Workhouse can only be one place. There was a Formidable Orphanage on the corner of Swaffield Road and Garrett Lane when I was a child (1950s to 60s).If I recall its been turned into flats now (can't swear to it though). My sister still lives there, I could always ask her whats happened to it, I know it is still standing.

My grandfather was born illegitimately in the Camberwell Workhouse, so thats where they went to have em!!

Brocklebank is also a road in the area.

mm

A Lee
28-04-2006, 1:42 PM
Thanks Marymog. I don't suppose you are aware if there were any other houses on Swaffield Road in the 1920's and 30's, apart from the workhouse, are you?

marymog
28-04-2006, 5:51 PM
Thanks Marymog. I don't suppose you are aware if there were any other houses on Swaffield Road in the 1920's and 30's, apart from the workhouse, are you?
There was a whole road of them, Its quite a long road,which goes up a Hill, and on the corner at the end of the road is a big old school (used to be called Swaffield Rd School.) The Houses on Swaffield Road were old, not new. You know the types that had outside looo's. I would Imagine either Victorian or Edwardian. What is the address in Swaffield road that you are searching for? My sister lived there for years, and her Parents in Law before her.

mm

marymog
28-04-2006, 6:25 PM
heres some info, I had the wrong building, this website says that the workhouse was destroyed in 1930. The building that was an orphanage was the previous "union office", there is a photo on the website

you go workhouse locations, - london surrey -clapham & wandsworth.

workhouses.org.uk

Peter Goodey
28-04-2006, 9:03 PM
"this website says that the workhouse was destroyed in 1930"
I don't think it does.

"The 'new' workhouse in Swaffield Road was built in the mid 1880's and further buildings were erected on the site between 1904-1913. In the 1920s the workhouse became known as the Swaffield Road Institution and after transfer of authority from the Guardians to the LCC in 1930 it was renamed the Brocklebank Institution."

source - LMA catalogue

marymog
28-04-2006, 10:10 PM
I think you may be right, here is an excerpt of a 2nd world war memory

........The bomb which affected me most was probably a small one. It damaged a wall at the back of the former Workhouse in Swaffield Street in Earlsfield. The vibration knocked over a broom by the back door and the noise seemed to go on through my head...........

mm

though I cant for the life of me remember any sort of institution in Brocklebank Rd..........But then as a kid these things seem to go unnoticed.

mm

marymog
28-04-2006, 10:40 PM
another news item taken from the New Age March 19. 1919

A CHRISTMAS PRESENT FOR THE WORKHOUSE.
Late one night, shortly before Christmas Day, a constable
found two bundles in Allfarthing Lane. Wandsworth.
In one a pretty baby lay sleeping cosily. The
other bundle consisted of baby’s spare clothing-two
complete sets. Baby and the clothing were speedily
taken to Swaffield Road Workhouse. There much surprise
was occasioned by the costliness of the linen, which
seemed to demonstrate that the child had a well-to-do
parentage. Surprise deepened when 30s. in cash fell
from the clothes the child was wearing. The suggestion
is that the mother, whoever she was, wanted none of the
State money-she gave it to the workhouse. The baby
was warm and cheerful when brought to the institution.
If: could not, therefore, have long been exposed before
discovery. On Christmas Day It took its milk with
healthful heartiness.....

mm

A Lee
29-04-2006, 9:28 PM
Thank you both of you for your responses.

I have found the website on workhouses and been on the LMA site and got a list of possible records to look through.

The only reference I have to Swaffield Road is in a newspaper cutting my family found in his house after he died. It was something about his school and I think he was about eleven at the time and it just mentioned his name and said 'of Swaffield Road'.

I have already established he was illegitimate and on his birth certificate it mentions a different address - Turtle Road. I don't know if you know of it, it no longer exists but from old maps was also off Garratt Lane - My mum (it's her father I'm researching) is certain that this address was my grandfather's aunts house where she lived with her husband and children.

What I am trying to ascertain is even though he wasn't born in a work house, what was the likelyhood of him and his mother having to go to one at some point after? Or did he just move into a cheap house later in life on the other side of the street? - All I have is a birth in Turtle Road and I know he'd moved somewhere in Swaffield Road by the time he was in secondary school.

My mum has said she is prepared to pay someone at the LMA to look through certain records as it is not easy, or cheap to get to London. However, it is potentially incredibly costly and there's no point, for example, in getting someone to look through the baptisms in Swaffield Road Workhouse if I can be fairly sure there is no chance anything of significance is going to be there.

marymog
30-04-2006, 1:55 AM
have you considered that he may have been in the orphanage, the one I was confused with. that was on Swaffield rd.

Me and my bloomin orphanage |shakehead . it comes from the tales of horror that my sisters told me of the weeks they spent there when my mother was sick!! and when ever I passed it I was always feeling sorry for the poor kids that I saw playing in the yard. behind the really high railings...

Turtle Road rings a bell, but my memory isnt too good anymore. I was thinking last night about Brocklebank. I remember when I was a kid, they never said anybody came from Brocklebank Rd, they said "Brocklebank", and it had a bit of a stigma attached, but further than that I cannot remember.

good luck

mm

A Lee
30-04-2006, 5:39 PM
Thanks Marymog.

I'm keeping my options open on the whole situation, as nothing seems to be as it was told!!!

I do know that he was brought up by his mother for most of his life. We have a couple of photographs of him and his mother when he looks about four, his mother attended his first marriage - we have a photo of that as well when she was middle aged - not long before she died. He also relayed a vast quantity of stories from his childhood involving his mother. I am aware there seems to have been a certain amount of deception here but I can't believe the whole lot was an invention on my grandads part.

I'm trying to familiarise myself with the social situation of that time and I'm not really sure what went on back then. I suppose he could have gone to an orphanage temporarily - as I say after he was about 6 weeks old - when he was registered - I have no categoric proof that he was with his mother until he was in his teens.

How easy was it to visit a child in an orphanage as a parent if the child wasn't strictly speaking an orphan?

What would they have had to have to done to get their child back?

On the workhouse point: How much freedom at that time would there have been to go and visit family etc...etc..?

I'm being realistic here: My grandfathers mother had an illegitimate child, she would have had to support herself somehow, I know she had connections with one of her sisters but realistically she wouldn't have been able to have been kept. I also know it was a big social stigma at that time, it is possible she could have been disowned by most of her family.
The obvious answer is to get the LMA to check records, but I'm trying to narrow the possibilities down to avoid huge expense.

Any advice from anyone would be greatly appreciated.

marymog
30-04-2006, 11:29 PM
Hi its me again |wave|

As I said my sisters went into the orphanage when my mother was sick, so obviously orphanges werent just for "orphans", they were also for children who couldn't be cared for by the parents.

My dad was illegitimate, born in 1915, I think his family disowned him, only one aunty would ever have anything to do with him. His mum married a widower, and took on his children and had lots more aswell, but he was always the outcast of this family aswell. There was a massive stigma with base born children.

What was your grandads name?? My brother in law lived in Swaffield road all his life, he is now well into his sixties, and a bit of a gossip, maybe he knows a tidbit or two. he knows older people who lived there aswell.

I will ask him if you like, but i will need a name,

mm

A Lee
01-05-2006, 8:24 PM
Thanks Marymog. The surname I'm referring to his Hammant I've private messaged you with more details as mum doesn't want everything publicised until we know more.

sheppardsls
09-06-2006, 2:54 PM
I am trying to trace the history of Hilda Mary Painter born at Swaffield Road Institution in 1915. Her mothers name was Mary Painter. Wot happened to illegitamate children born at Swaffield Road , believe Hilda Painter was brought up in a convent.
Please email me back on sheppardsls AT aol DOT com

Thanks

Peter Goodey
09-06-2006, 4:50 PM
"I am trying to trace the history of Hilda Mary Painter born at Swaffield Road Institution in 1915. Her mothers name was Mary Painter. Wot happened to illegitamate children born at Swaffield Road , believe Hilda Painter was brought up in a convent."

I don't understand "wot" but you seem to be asking about a birth in 1915. There is a fair bit of information in this thread. In addition to the birth register you may also want to look at the Creed Register. The "Registers of children at RC and certified schools and Exmouth Training Ship" may also be of interet to you. As has already been pointed out, records are at the London Metropolitan Archives and there is a comprehensive catalogue on A2A.

http://www.a2a.org.uk/ and search on "Swaffield Road"

http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/corporation/family-research/index.htm

"Please email me....."
It doesn't work like that. This a public forum.

A Lee
10-06-2006, 9:15 AM
Sheppardsls, I don't know if your relative would have been baptized there but you can check a register of baptisms at Swaffield Rd workhouse 1911-1935 and there are admission and discharge registers also available from the LMA. (Check their website for reference)

I am in the process of applying for someone at the LMA to research my relative, as I live nowhere near London. It is quite longwinded though and expensive, so if you are able to physically check yourself it might be easier.

It sounds like you already know she was born there so possibly looking for a discharge record would be a lead to the timescale she was there.

sheppardsls
10-06-2006, 9:56 AM
Thank you for replying to my last message!
We are trying to "build - up" a Family History.
We know that Hilda Painter (My Great Grandmother) was born in 1915 in Swaffield Institution. Her mother was sent there because of being unmarried. We also know that Hilda Painter was brought up by nun's in a convent. We are trying to establish if she was taken from Swaffield Institution as a baby because her mother returned to her home address after the birth.
Hilda Painter never spoke about her childhood except to say the nuns were very strict and it was a very unpleasant upbringing. We only recently discovered that she was illegitamate and we are trying to establish just where she spent those early very unhappy years that she refused to ever speak about.
The earliest History that she ever spoke about was going into Service as a Parlour Maid to an M.P. Harris in Tedworth Square?? 1929.
If we are able to fill these early years we can then move onto trace other relatives.
Thank you

sheppardsls
19-06-2006, 3:13 PM
Thank you very much for this piece of information.
Like you I live a long way from London so the advice was very helpful.
On the birth certificate it states 77 Swaffield Road, would this have been part of the workhouse or seperate?

sheppardsls
19-06-2006, 3:26 PM
Do you know at all if 77 Swaffield Road would have been part of the workhouse or would it have been seperate?
Also, do you know if the orphanage was run by nuns?

marymog
19-06-2006, 9:46 PM
hi Shepardsls,
havent been on the board just lately. I can answer your questions.
77 Swaffield road is on the wrong side to have been the workhouse.
My sister lived at nr 13, that was at the bottom, opposite the workhouse.
77 would have been up the hill, just a normal terrace house.
The Orphanage when I was a kid was not run by nuns, it was a council run affair. An orphanage run by nuns would have a name to do with a saint or holy person.

mm

A Lee
20-06-2006, 3:37 PM
As I said before I'm in the process of getting the LMA to check the workhouse records to see if my ancestor was there at all. This takes quite a while, and is expensive but I know of no other way to do it. If you're absolutely sure she wasn't there are the facts absolutely correct or was she there at a different time?:)

sheppardsls
20-06-2006, 7:41 PM
Thank you very much for this extremley useful information.
Would 77 Swaffield Road have been anywhere near the orphanage?

marymog
20-06-2006, 10:44 PM
The orphanage was on the corner of Swaffield Rd and Garrett Lane.

the house next door to it up Swaffield Rd would have been number one
so it was half of 77 houses away, as the road goes odd and even.
the houses are terraced and quite close to each other.

Have you seen the photo of the orphanage on the website??

workhouses.org.uk

the building is called "Swaffield Rd Intermediate schools"

I do believe the photo is taken from Swaffield rd, but I cant swaer to it, I'm going on childhood memory here.

mm

sheppardsls
21-06-2006, 1:35 PM
Thank you very much for your last message. We are now going to try and find out who lived at 77 Swaffield Road!!

Thank you very much for your help and time in giving me this information

marymog
21-06-2006, 3:11 PM
Well, I had it all wrong. :D

Seemingly Swaffield Rd dosent run odd and even.

I looked on the 1901 census and Swaffield Rd runs up and then down from 1 to 75, then it becomes the Porters Lodge of the Workhouse, and the Superintendants House Causal Ward,,(no number but must have been 77) Swaffield Rd. So that looks like the address of the Casual Ward is 77 Swaffield Rd.. Which means she was definately born in the Workhouse "casual ward."

mm

sorry for the bad memory |bowdown|

sheppardsls
22-06-2006, 9:29 AM
Thank you very much for this fantastic information!! We are now going to check the admissions and discharges. I will let you know how we get on. You have been a great help!!!

siamesefeline1
08-02-2009, 1:42 AM
Just a quick reply regarding Workhouses in general. If not already known there was one in Chelsea called the Kingsmead Workhouse. It eventually became an Old People's Home and my gran died in there in 1961. Just thought that might be helpful to someone. I know a lot about it but unless someone needs to know the info not much point in puutting it on yet.
Cheers
SiameseFeline

rita13
22-10-2009, 2:18 PM
Hi

I have just seen your message and like you I was born and bred in the area (Atheldene Road as was) which was just around the corner to both the Swaffield Road Workhouse and the Childrens home (two different places). The workhouse was on the bottom end of Swaffield (Atheldene Road was just past there on the left hand side walking towards Garratt Lane). In fact my Mother who is 89 actually worked in the warehouse laundry for several years as did her sister.

The childrens home was a lovely old building on the corner of Swaffield Road and Garratt Lane (on the right hand side walking towards Garratt Lane and the opposite side of the road to the Workhouse).

I am also pretty sure that the workhouse closed long after 1930 because my grandad apparently died there in the late 1940's or early 1050's.





I was born and bred in that area. The Swaffield Road Workhouse can only be one place. There was a Formidable Orphanage on the corner of Swaffield Road and Garrett Lane when I was a child (1950s to 60s).If I recall its been turned into flats now (can't swear to it though). My sister still lives there, I could always ask her whats happened to it, I know it is still standing.

My grandfather was born illegitimately in the Camberwell Workhouse, so thats where they went to have em!!

Brocklebank is also a road in the area.

mm

DeeJay
12-11-2013, 2:13 PM
The old Workhouse Buildings were still in use in 1965.

The London, England, Electoral Register for 1965 under Swaffield Road, SW18, Lists 77 Swaffield Road as "Brockle Bank."
It has 423 people Listed at that address, they would all have to be over 21 at that time so children are not included in that number.

Incidentally 76 Swaffield Road is shown as "L.C.C. Hostel" which was where I found my ancestor.

Peter Goodey
12-11-2013, 3:23 PM
By 1965 Brocklebank Institution had become an old people's home.

For information on London workhouses and former workhouses see (1) the workhouse web site, (2) the LMA catalogue, (3) the hospital records database (if appropriate).

Here's a photo from that period

http://
collage.cityoflondon.gov.uk/collage/app;jsessionid=0663CF8AEA9D884EC441927AD0D6374E?se rvice=external/Item&sp=Zlondon&sp=176574&sp=X

There are many more photographs at LMA itself for visitors.

rita13
13-11-2013, 12:28 PM
Hi,

I have just seen your post re Swaffield Road workhouse. I was born and brought up in Atheldene Road which is literally just around the corner from what was the workhouse. I am not sure off hand what year it closed as a workhouse but I know it was still open as such when my Grandad died there in 1951. After that, if I remember rightly it was a laundry. I personally do not go to Wandsworth anymore but I do have family members that sometimes do go there and I will ask around family members what memories they have. If you would like to contact me direct my e-mail is ritahunt13AThotmailDOTcom.

despicable pete
01-02-2017, 6:50 PM
Hi,a little late..i arrived in swaffield road around 1954/5 in fact lived in and attended that big old school for many years often to visit my mum and dad who was the school keeper there for many years living in the schoolhouse attached to the school grounds.with your back to garrett lane looking up swaffield rd on the left corner was a boys home,opposite marked with a distinct wall was the workhouse i believe....

judyp1
02-02-2017, 12:47 PM
Does anybody know where the records from Swaffield Road Institution can be found please? My two aunts were in there in 1920, and I would like to know when they left.

Peter Goodey
02-02-2017, 3:48 PM
Does anybody know where the records from Swaffield Road Institution can be found please?

Did you read message #34?

If you're not asking about the infirmary, admission and discharge records for Swaffield Road covering 1920 to 1922 are available on Ancestry in the database called "London, England, Workhouse Admission and Discharge Records, 1659-1930".

judyp1
02-02-2017, 4:04 PM
Thanks Peter. I will go to Ancestry. Very helpful of you.

Regards
Judy

Peter Goodey
02-02-2017, 4:24 PM
Judy
Please note that Ancestry also has a further database called "London, England, Poor Law and Board of Guardian Records, 1430-1930". These are not name indexed and you would have to search by the old fashioned method. There's a wide range of record types and there may well be something useful there.

judyp1
03-02-2017, 2:32 PM
Again, another helpful tip. My thanks Peter.

j

scottgirl
26-01-2018, 11:09 AM
Hi all
I only joined you today, but I have read through this thread which interests me as my illegitimate grandmother was admitted to this workhouse at only 6 weeks of age with her mother Minnie McDermott in April 1922, I found this new fact in the ancestry record you mention, but there is no discharge record. I live in Australia, so not familiar with UK records. It my understanding is that I need to contact LMA ... are there other places I can search? Like most I am trying to connect with the missing ancestors, by the name McDermott.
Thank you in advance, Terri

judyp1
26-01-2018, 7:42 PM
Hi Scottgirl. If you look back to messages 35 - 42, you will find lots of useful information. Unfortunately I haven't had time to do any research recently, but now you have reminded me, I will get on with it!

Regards
Judy