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The Wandsworth and Clapham Union was renamed the Wandsworth Union in 1904.

The Wandsworth and Clapham Guardians leased another site from Earl Spencer on the north side of St John's Hill where a new union workhouse was erected in 1838-40 to designs by George Ledwell Taylor.

Substantial changes and additions were made to the buildings, including a nurses' home in 1898 at the north-east corner of the site. © Peter Higginbotham St John's Hill children's ward, 1896.

The workhouse location and layout is shown on the 1866 map below: Wandsworth and Clapham St John's workhouse site, 1866.

St John's Hill workhouse from the south-west, c.1913.

© Peter Higginbotham In 1841, a visitor described his experience of the workhouse: One day, while in London, I took the opportunity of driving a few miles west from Vauxhall, on the Wandsworth road, to visit the large workhouse of the Battersea district, lately erected, and in full operation under the new system.

Each class of inmates — men, women, boys,and girls — occupied its respective division of the house, with an appropriate airing-ground behind.

In one apartment, I found about thirty elderly men picking oakum, a very light employment; and is another place there were some men, of greater strength, working a pump which propelled water to a cistern, at the summit of the building.

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