Congleton Poor Law Union, Cheshire Genealogy

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In addition to the Congleton town workhouse established about 1730, parish workhouses were found at Biddulph (Gillow Heath) and Sandbach which had two adjacent houses later almshouses. Betchton Heath also had a house.
The Congleton workhouse had fallen into disrepair and relocated to leased land at Park Lane on Mossley Moor.

The Congleton Poor Law Union formally came into being on 13th January 1837 and faced dissent on the location of the workhouse which was felt to be too remote for the Union. The existing sites continued whilst plans for a new workhouse were developed.

In 1844 a new workhouse at Aclid heath designed by Henry Bowman and built in 1844-5 at a cost of £7,097. It was intended to accommodate 370 inmates.
It lacked an infirmary but one was built by converting buildings. The original infirmary block had 26 beds, 13 for men and 13 for women. It was extended in 1860 and again in 1873 to increase its capacity to 58. However, this still proved insufficient to meet the growing demands and in 1899-1900 a new infirmary was erected at the north of the workhouse. Designed by Alfred Price, it had 100 beds and accommodation for nurses.

During the First World War, 40 beds in the infirmary were given over for the care of military casualties. In addition, 20 pauper inmates were taken in from the Wirral Union workhouse which was also being used as a military hospital. In September 1918, the casual wards, which had been closed down the previous year, were used to accommodate 10 German prisoners of war who were employed in agricultural work in the area.
During the 1920s, the use of the infirmary as a general and maternity hospital gradually increased. Then, with the abolition of the workhouse system in 1930, it became officially known as Congleton Public Assistance Institution. During the 1930s, the hospital became mainly used for geriatric care and took on the name Arclid Hospital.
Arclid Hospital closed in the spring of 1993 and the buildings all demolished.

Constituent Parishes

 Alsager, Cheshire, Arclid , Astbury, Cheshire ,Betchton ,  Biddulph, Staffordshire, Blackden , Bradwell,  Brereton cum Smethwick, CheshireBuglawton, CheshireChurch Hulme, CheshireChurch Lawton, Cheshire ,   Congleton, CheshireCongleton St James,Cheshire Congleton St Peter,Cheshire Cotton , Cranage, Davenport, Elton Goostrey, Cheshire, Hassell, Hulme Walfield, Kermincham, Leese, Moreton-cum-Alcumlow, Moston, Mow Cop, Staffordshire  Newbold Astbury, Odd Rode, Smallwood, Sandbach see Sandbach Heath St John the Evangelist, CheshireSandbach St Mary, Cheshire , Smallwood, Cheshire, Summerford cum Radnor, Summerford Booths, Swettenham, Cheshire, Tetton see Warmingham, CheshireSwettenham, Cheshire , Tetton, Twenlow, Wheelock Christ Church,Cheshire

England Jurisdictions 1851 will identify villages within ecclesiastical parish boundaries.


Poor rate assessments, 1812-1845
Microfilm of originals in the Cheshire Record Office, Chester.
Cheshire Record Office: LBC 47/3-4
Vol. 3 1812-1814 Vol. 4 (p. 1-10) 1845 FHL BRITISH Film 1594504 Items 2-3
Vol. 4 (p. 10-end) 1845 FHL BRITISH Film 1594505 Item 1

Cheshire and Chester Archives and Local Studies Service,Cheshire Record Office
Duke Street,
Tel: 01244 602574

Holdings include Guardians' minutes (1837-1930); Ledgers (1850-1923); Births (1914-49); Baptisms (1902-51); Deaths (1837-1963); Creed registers (1901-48)