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HER Number:MDV830
Name:Barnstaple Union Workhouse


Site of Barnstaple Union Workhouse erected in 1837 and which later became The Alexander Hospital before being demolished in the 1980s.


Grid Reference:SS 562 331
Map Sheet:SS53SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBarnstaple
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBARNSTAPLE

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 1407646
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS53SE/79

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • WORKHOUSE (XIX to XX - 1837 AD to 1990 AD (Between))
  • HOSPITAL (XX - 1901 AD to 2000 AD)

Full description

Wood, J., 1843, Plan of the Town of Barnstaple from Actual Survey (Cartographic). SDV91852.

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

'Barnstaple Union Workhouse' shown on 19th century map as a group of buildings between 'Fort Street' to the south and 'Ebberly Place' to the north.

Timms, S. C., 19/11/1982, Barnstaple Union Workhouse (Personal Comment). SDV336841.

The main hospital buildings have been demolished. The chapel and lodge still stand but the lodge is due for demolition for the Urban Relief Road. Hospital site redeveloped. No record made prior to demolition. Chapel to be retained.

Ordnance Survey, 1904 - 1906, Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV325644.

Group of buildings shown on early 20th century map arranged around six irregular shaped yards set back from 'Alexandra Road'.

Ordnance Survey, 1930 - 1939, Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV336668.

Buildings shown as 'P.A. Instn. (Devon CoC.) on 1930's Ordnance Survey map.

Bone, M., 1973, Barnstaple's Industrial Archaeology, 23 (Monograph). SDV78228.

The Alexandra Hospital was formerly the Barnstaple Union Workhouse, replacing the Tuly Street iInstitution. Erected in 1837 at an initial cost of £4,000, it had 220 paupers in residence in 1850.

Minchinton, W. E., 1973, Industrial Archaeology in Devon, 23 (Monograph). SDV7016.

Devon County Council, 1981, Conservation Section Photograph Collection, Film 512 (Ground Photograph). SDV336843.

Ordnance Survey, 2006, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV324628.

A building marked "Hall" is shown on the site of the workhouse chapel. The shape and dimensions appear identical, but it is unclear whether this is the former chapel, or a replacement building.

National Monuments Record, 2010, 1407646, SS53SE146 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV336842.

Barnstaple Union Workhouse was built in 1837 to designs by Sampson Kempthorne. The buildings had a cruciform plan with a chapel to the northwest. In 1930, it became a Public Assistance Institution. The workhouse became Alexandra Hospital in 1948 until it closed in 1978. Only the chapel now remains and it has been converted to domestic use.

Timms, S., 21/09/1982, Barnstaple Union Workhouse (Personal Comment). SDV350513.

Site visit 21/09/1982. The workhouse replaced the borough workshop in Tuly Street. The hospital is no longer used and in December 1981 the District Council served a building preservation notice on it whilst redevelopment proposals were under consideration. Very extensive Victorian buildings stand on the site with a formal façade facing west onto a courtyard fronting Alexandra Road. A lodge and a chapel stand in the courtyard. The earliest buildings are said to be at the back (east) of the site. Large scale redevelopment is expected to begin early in 1993 with all the buildings except the chapel being demolished. North Devon Rescue Archaeology has been asked to make a photographic record prior to demolition.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, Unknown, SS53SE69 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV350514.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV324628Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2006. MasterMap. MasterMap. Digital.
SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #108341 ]
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336668Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1930 - 1939. Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336841Personal Comment: Timms, S. C.. 19/11/1982. Barnstaple Union Workhouse. Not Applicable.
SDV336842National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2010. 1407646. National Monuments Record Index. Website. SS53SE146.
SDV336843Ground Photograph: Devon County Council. 1981. Conservation Section Photograph Collection. Conservation Section Photograph Collection. Photograph (Paper). Film 512.
SDV350513Personal Comment: Timms, S.. 21/09/1982. Barnstaple Union Workhouse. Not Applicable.
SDV350514Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Unknown. SS53SE69. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV7016Monograph: Minchinton, W. E.. 1973. Industrial Archaeology in Devon. Industrial Archaeology in Devon. Paperback Volume. 23.
SDV78228Monograph: Bone, M.. 1973. Barnstaple's Industrial Archaeology. Barnstaple's Industrial Archaeology. A5 Paperback. 23.
SDV91852Cartographic: Wood, J.. 1843. Plan of the Town of Barnstaple from Actual Survey. Unknown.

Associated Monuments

MDV103121Parent of: Workhouse Chapel, Alexandra Road, Barnstaple (Building)
MDV863Related to: Dornat's Factory, formerly a Workhouse, Tuly Street, Barnstaple (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Nov 1 2012 10:00AM