The male vagrants' accommodation included nine sleeping cells measuring 10 feet by four feet, and nine labour cells facing them across a passageway.
There was also a double room and three single rooms for women. Rocks were broken up until the pieces were small enough to pass through a grille to the stone-yard outside.
Bewdley's workhouse had its origins in November 1736 when the Mayor and Burgesses of the town decided to erect a workhouse for the maintaining the poor. In the 1790s, such items included "Wine for the Sick 10d.", "Ale and Cakes for the Sick at times 4-2d", and "Cakes and Wigs [spiced buns] for the Sick 3d.".
They donated £206 6s towards the cost of the building which was erected on a rented site, at what is now 64 High Street. Those who died in the workhouse had their funeral expenses paid, including the purchase of a coffin and the payment of coffin-bearers.
They had a separate entrance and stairs leading directly to the board room.
At the rear were vagrant wards, now demolished apart from a bathroom linked to the main block.
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When the workhouse opened in 1737, a Governor and Matron were appointed at a salary of 15s.4d. Other entries in the accounts included: Chaddesley Corbett had a workhouse dating from 1795 situated at the east side of its main street. Pigot's Directory of 1828-9 records that Stourport's workhouse was at Lower Mitton, with Joseph Partridge as its governor.
The building, now known as Harkaway House, was substantially rebuilt in the 1960s. Kidderminster Poor Law Union was formed on 14th October 1836. Later Additions: Stourport (from 1928), Wribbenhall (from 1901).
It broadly followed the model cruciform plan published by the Commissioners in 1835.
Additions in 1884 included a 66-bed men's hospital, a 50-bed women's hospital, a school, a bakery, a brewery, and a boiler-house.