A memorial to Bath’s poor.

My thanks to Stuart Burroughs – Director of the Museum of Bath at Work – for letting me use the museum installation – ‘Mr Bowler’s Office’ – for a fascinating interview with local historian John Payne.

He’s the man who has written a brief account of the Odd Down site of what was the city’s huge and prison-like Victorian workhouse. A complex that later became St Martin’s Hospital.

It’s been published by the Bath Union Workhouse Burial Ground Memorial Group who are campaigning for a permanent memorial to mark the last resting place – in a nearby field – of thousands of inmates in unmarked graves.

The images used in this interview come from the booklet which credits Bath Record Office, the Museum of Bath at Work, Bath Preservation Trust, Richard White and Cross Manufacturing Co. Ltd.

My chat with John began with asking what exactly was a workhouse and what did it mean to be sent there.

For more information about the Burial Ground Campaign visit www.walknowtracks.co.uk The website www.workhouses.org.uk/ is an invaluable guide to the whole field and contains material about Bath.

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