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World interest in history of workhouse

PUBLISHED: 08:22 08 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:58 22 October 2010

A new book on the story of Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse has attracted interest from the other side of the world just hours after being launched.

A new book on the story of Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse has attracted interest from the other side of the world just hours after being launched.

The book, which charts the history of the museum near Dereham and the people who lived and worked there, was written by Stephen Pope, the museum's visitor services assistant.

Alongside the book, he and his wife Ann have transcribed many of the records at Gressenhall including information on all the inmates and staff over two centuries which can be viewed on the publisher's website.

Just 30 minutes after the book and searchable list were put on the site there was an order from Lancashire, quickly followed by one from New Zealand.

Publisher Peter Stibbons of Poppyland Publishing in Cromer said: “We can only assume this is linked to the listing of inmates that is on the website in association with the book.

“Rather than include pages of lists in a book we have found that a website is a much better place for people who want some extra resources. Then if someone is looking for a particular name a search engine can direct them to it.”

The book tells how the workhouse was detested and feared and is deeply embedded in the folk memory of England. It explores what life was actually like behind the stark brick walls from its days as a House of Industry, a Union Workhouse and an old people's home through to today as a museum.

The book is available from bookshops and museums across the county and online from www.poppyland.co.uk at £10.95.


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