Hartismere Union House around 1880. Foreground shows the eastern façade of 1854, with the older Georgian buildings of 1794 and 1835-9 at the rear.

Workhouse and School

Where these modern houses are today was originally the site of a workhouse.

The workhouse was built at the west end of the bailey some time in the 18th century. It housed 25-30 paupers, people with no home and no other means of support who depended on the parish. They were made to work hard for their keep and conditions were harsh.

By 1794 it was in a ruined state and new workhouse was built. Child paupers were taught to make clothing and shoes so that they could earn a living.

By 1854 the workhouse was enlarged again to house up to 300 paupers, but it never seems to have housed more than 130.

It was also used as the Borough Gaol from 1817-1987.

The workhouse was partly demolished in the 1920s and the remainder converted into council houses. The entire site was cleared in 1979 and the council houses were built on it in a curve to follow the line of the bailey defences.


Eye National School

Eye National School was built by sir Edward Kerrison to educate the children of the poor. It occupied the eastern half of the bailey from 1839-1987.

The Church Aided Primary school used this part of the site until 1979 when the new houses were built.