This film is part of Free

Fred Chaulk and the Totnes Workhouse

Fred Chaulk remembers the Totnes workhouse of the 1920s

News 1970 6 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


TV reporter John Doyle interviews Fred Chaulk who grew up in the Totnes Workhouse. Fred describes living in the workhouse and how it was that when his father remarried two of his four children were sent to the workhouse. Workhouses were abolished on 1 April 1930.

Workhouses have existed in Totnes since 1738. Berey Pumerey had 40 inmates and Brixham up to 60 taking in the poorest. The workhouse in Totnes is built in 1837-8 on the south side of Plymouth Road. It cost six thousand pounds and could accommodate up to 380 paupers. The workhouse became a public assistance institution and Broomborough Hospital before being converted into private housing.