Manchester City Council

Withington Workhouse and Hospital

  1. Type

    Workhouse, Hospital

  2. History

    The first Chorlton Union workhouse was located on Stretford New Road, near Leaf Street, and accommodated 300 inmates. The building became inadequate to cope with the demands of the rapidly increasing population of the area and the Guardians decided that a completely new workhouse was needed.
    The Chorlton Union Workhouse, Nell Lane, Withington was opened in 1855. The workhouse site also included the Chorlton Union Cemetery which served the Chorlton Union area as well the workhouse and hospital until it reached its capacity in 1920.

    After the Local Government Act of 1929 it sought to disassociate itself from the poor law image. Now in the hands of the Corporation of the City of Manchester, the hospital was developed and extended. By 1948 it had become one of the largest general hospitals in the country and was established as the focal point for the hospitals of the newly-formed South Manchester Group under the overall control of the Manchester Regional Hospital Board.

    The cemetery was formally closed in 1970 and the remains were reinterred at Southern Cemetery where some remains had already been reinterred in order to accommodate the building of Princess Road over the old cemetery site. During the First World War the hospital became a military hospital and it is sometimes known as Nell Lane Military Hospital.

  3. What's available

    We hold a good set of records for Withington Hospital and Workhouse (ref GB127.M327):

    • Birth registers 1857 to 1920 (on microfilm MF 3000-3002 or on findmypast up to 1911)
    • Death registers (includes place of burial) 1857 to 1949 (on microfilm MF 3000-3002 or on findmypast)
    • Creed registers (give admission and discharge details), 1869 to Sep 1911 (on microfilm, MF 3003-3008, MF 3033-3041, or on findmypast); Oct 1911 to 1914 (ref: Archives GB127.M327/2/2/31-36)
    • Admission and discharge registers 1870 to 1884 (on microfilm, MF 3043-3046 or on findmypast)
    • Interment registers Mar 1898 to May 1922 (on microfilm, MF 3030-3032 or on findmypast); Jun 1922 to 1944 (GB127.M327/2/5/5-20)
    • Cemetery reference book 1857 to 1891 (ref GB127.M327/2/6/1)
    • Chaplaincy registers, of baptism 1849 to 1924 (ref GB127.M327/2/7/1-2)

    Lancashire Record Office holds Roman Catholic baptism and confirmation registers, 1857 to 1973, and chaplains' report books, 1921 to 1955, for Withington Workhouse and Hospital (ref: RCWI acc 9126).

    See all locations on a map

  4. How to access

    Records on microfilm (marked MF) are available on the ground floor at Central Library, no appointment needed.

    Resources marked with GB are available in the search room, please make an appointment.

    Free access to findmypast is available at any of our libraries.

  5. Related information

    For a history of the hospital see The Road to Barlow Moor. The Story of Withington Hospital, Manchester (Gerard Edwards, 1975) (q 362.11 EDI).

  6. Location of the site

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