About this image
St Oswald's Hospital, formerly the Workhouse, taken from St Oswald's Church spire. Ashbourne Poor Law Union formally came into existence on 4th January 1845and the Union workhouse was built in 1848. Before this, the Ashbourne Board of Guardians met fortnightly at the Green Man inn (and were apparently reluctant to switch to the new venue!). A schoolmistress resided in the workhouse where Geography, household instruction, agricultural labouring and histories of England were taught to children, while able bodied inmates were put to stone breaking. The elderly and infirm were employed in picking oakum. The workhouse later became Ashbourne Public Assistance Institution or just 'the Institution'. Under the National Health Service it became St Oswald's Hospital.