The workhouse which became known locally as 'The Grubber', opened on Christmas day 1841. The workhouse was made to accommodate 600 people. It was the scene of a riot in 1842 which was due to the vast slump of unemployment. At a later date a hospital wing was erected and in 1905 a new office and boardroom was added. In 1912 it was officially known as Stockport Poor Law Institution.
Life in a workhouse was not easy or very comfortable. On entrance to the workhouse a persons clothes and belonging would be taken off them and a uniform given to them, their things would not be returned until they left, the men, woman and children were kept separate from each other, men in the north side and women in the south, children were in the cross wings at each side of the main block, a bed if they were available were small and many children shared one and were in large dormitories. The jobs that they were given were mainly domesticated for women for eg cooking and cleaning and for men more manual like stone breaking. There were strict rules and routines to be followed if these were broken a punishment would be given which ranged from a meal not being given, to whipping or imprisonment. Even though workhouses were meant to run in a certain way, there where often many allegations of wrong doings and/or the workers not being treated fairly or correctly. In later years things would become more relaxed and tolerable yet the stigma of the workhouse would remain.
The workhouse would later become Shaw Heath Hospital and from 1954 St Thomas' Hospital. The hospital closed down in 2004 and the site now belongs to Stockport College.
Reported Paranormal Activity
Lots of paranormal activity has been reported here like objects being thrown, strange noises and people who have been there have said it as an uneasy and unhappy feeling, also the ghosts of a man has been seen in one of the offices and a ghost in the mortuary that unfortunately began to be cut open on the mortuary table whilst unknowingly he was still alive.
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