Burnley Poor Law Union, Lancashire

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In Parliamentary reports in 1777 parish workhouses included:
Colne (for up to 17 inmates)
Barnby with Habergham (50 inmates).
Workhouses also operated on Royle Road in Burnley, and on the Blackburn Road at Padiham.

The Burnley Poor Law Union formally came into being on 20th January 1837.

Constituent Parishes include
Altham, Lancashire GenealogyBarley with Wheatley Booth, Pendle, Lancashire Genealogy, Barrowford, Lancashire Genealogy, Briercliffe, Lancashire Genealogy
Burnley St Peter, Lancashire Genealogy,Burnley St James, Lancashire Genealogy, Burnley St Paul
Cliviger see Holme St John, Lancashire Genealogy , Colne, Lancashire Genealogy, Colne Christ Church, Lancashire Genealogy, Dunnockshaw and Cloughbridge, Lancashire GenealogyFoulridge, Lancashire Genealogy, Goldshaw Booth see Newchurch in Pendle, Lancashire Genealogy, Goodshaw, Lancashire Genealogy, Great Marsden, Lancashire Genealogy, Habergham All Saints, Lancashire Genealogy,

Habergham Eaves, Lancashire GenealogyHapton, Lancashire Genealogy, Heyhouses, Lancashire Genealogy, Higham with West Close Booth, Lancashire Genealogy , Heyhouses, Lancashire Genealogy, Hughouses,  Huncoat, Lancashire Genealogy, Holme St John, Lancashire Genealogy, Ightenhill Park,Lancashire, Little Marsden, Lancashire Genealogy, Old Laund Booth see Fence-in-Pendle, Lancashire Genealogy, Padiham, Lancashire Genealogy, Reedley Hallows, Filly Close and New Laund Booth , Lancashire GenealogyRoughlee,Lancashire, Read St John,LancashireSimonstone, Lancashire Genealogy,
 Trawden, Lancashire Genealogy, Wheatley Carr, Lancashire Genealogy, Worsthorne, Lancashire Genealogy

On formation of the Union and in the  two sites Royle Road Burnley and Padiham provided a capacity of 310 places (1847)

Briercliffe Road Workhouse

Because of the inadequacies of the existing workhouse accommodation, a new workhouse for 500 inmates was erected at a 10-acre site on Briercliffe Road in Burnley. The foundation stone was laid in 1873 and the first inmates admitted in March, 1876. The buildings, which cost about £20,000, were designed by William Waddington of Burnley and the building contractors were Messrs Heap of Burnley.
A new infirmary was opened in 1895 to the north of the existing infirmary. It was designed by local architect Samuel Keighley and its construction cost £28,000.
From 1904, to protect them from disadvantage in later life, the birth certificates for those born in the workhouse gave its address just as 118 Briercliffe Road, Burnley.
After 1930, the running of the workhouse was handed over to the Burnley Corporation Public Assistance Committee and became Primrose Bank Public Assistance Institution. The infirmary was taken over by the separate Public Health Committee and was renamed Primrose Bank Hospital.
Following the inauguration of the National Health Service in 1948, the two parts were reunited and became Burnley General Hospital. The hospital buildings were demolished in 2008.


  •  Lancashire Record Office, Bow Lane, Preston, Lancashire, PR1 2RE. Holdings include Union constitution (1836); Guardians' minutes (1837-1930); Creed register (1906-130); Index to admissions and discharge books (1906-30); Admissions and discharges register (1925-42); Register of inmates' relatives (males 1876-1901, females 1879-1908); Primrose Bank creed registers (1894-1943); Boys' Home admissions/discharges (1925-42); Boys' Home inmates (1925-40)
  • 1. Guardians' Minute Books 1837-1930
    2. Guardians' Rough Minute Book 1838-1840
    3. Assessment Committee Minute Books 1862-1920
    4. Valuation Lists 1875-1929
    5. Miscellaneous (1) 1836-1948 including Constitution 1836 and registers of children 1903-1947 ( Includes ACC10081 - Orders for Contributions from Colne, 1849-1851; Bills; Appointment of Overseer for Colne, 1845)
    6. Guardians' Minute Books (printed) 1898-1930
    7. General Committee Minute Books 1879-1905
    8. Workhouse Building Committee Minute Books 1871-77
    9. School Attendance Committee Minute Books 1877-1897
    10. Finance Committee Minutes 1884-1897
    11. General Ledgers 1838-1929
    12. Ledger Analysis Books 1906-1929
    13. Parochial Ledgers 1848-1925
    14. Non Settled Poor Ledgers 1861-1907
    15. Outdoor Relief Lists 1901-1947
    16. Working Boys Home 1925-1942

Reference PUZ

  • Parish register transcripts, 1716-1811 Padiham Includes parish register extracts, 1716-1811.
    The chapelry of Padiham is in the parish of Whalley.
    IN Miscellaneous parish register transcripts and extracts / J. A. Laycock. -- v. 6, 1st parish.
Census of 1811, baptisms and burials, 1803-1811; poor assessments, 1716, 1722-1723, 1739, 1749, 1753-1763, 1776-1777, highway accounts, 1706, 1764.


For more information on the history of the Burnley workhouse, see Peter Higginbotham's web site: www.workhouses.org.uk/Burnley