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Provisions supplied to the workhouse included hops (for brewing), clay pipes, tobacco (shag and pigtail for the men, and ladies' twist for the women), and 20 lbs of treacle per week.Other goods included lettuce seed, bedcord (for stretching across wooden bed frames), and a "bakestone" (on which to bake oatcakes).In 1663, the township officials were required to build "a Cottage house — upon ye Waste" to accommodate Isaac Gaunt, his wife, and three small children.The township's first workhouse had been established by 1741 when Lowton innkeeper Joseph Fenton bequeathed "my uppermost cottage and dwelling house called the workhouse where the poor of Pudsey are now maintained." In 1761, conditions in this establishment were said to be "lamentable and deplorable" and at least two children of widower Paul Hudson, a Moravian, died while residing there.Unfortunately, it proved impossible to provided a satisfactory water supply to the site and the scheme was abandoned. The three-storey T-shaped main building accommodated females at the north and males at the south.The following year, a new site was found at Clayton Heights and again a foundation stone was laid by Joshua Fawcett. There were many complaints about the workhouse location — it was said that 'a more inconvenient and less desirable locality could not well be found' and that it was the 'Siberia of the North Bierley Union.' The site was later also overshadowed by the Horton Bank reservoir which was constructed in 1870-81. North Bierley main block from the south-east, 2002. North Bierley main block from the south-east, 2002. The central wing at the rear contained the dining-hall and kitchens and formed the northern side of an enclosed yard.
Its layout at this date are shown on the plan below. The site became part of the East Morley Guardians' Area and was developed as a hospital.
Little Moor Council School was built on the old workhouse site in 1891, now replaced by housing. The relatively generous treatment of the inmates made it an expensive place to run — bills in 1772-3 included ones from suppliers of cloth, milk, butter, malt, groceries, veal, beef and mutton, items which would not have been available to those on out-relief. a week to Hannah Sowden for agreeing to leave the workhouse. In 1841, the location was refererred to as Workhouse Fold.
In 1807, the twenty inmates comprised six children, nine women (two bastard-bearers, one wife and the rest widows), two were old men and three were just referred to by their surname and noted as 'old' (King, 1997). Idle's workhouse was at the south side of what is now Windhill Old Road. In 1790, the chapelry of Wibsey converted Odsal Farm into a workhouse. According to Baines' Directory of 1830, North Bierley had a workhouse at Hodgson Moor with John Wilkinson as its Governor. The rapid growth in the population of the Bradford Union led, on 16th September 1848, to the creation of the North Bierley Poor Law Union from a group of suburban parishes and townships around Bradford.
The average annual poor-rate expenditure for the period 1845-7 had been £4,602 or 3s.1d. Following a meeting of the Board of Guardians there in 1848, it was reported that: The occupants are chiefly old and helpless men and women, some worn out with infirmity and age, but far the greater portion helpless by reason of mental imbecility. In one small dark room, the benches, with high backs, forming a circle in front of the fire, contained a number of octogenarians, and a few somewhat their juniors. The day room of the females presented a melancholy sight.
In front of a fire, at each end of a long room, were grouped a large number of women and children.