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In the same year, town butchers were requested to submit fixed prices for meat and suet, and grocers and mealmen to do likewise for wheat, flour, cheese, butter, malt and hops, oats and peas, candles and soap and coal.Some idea of the poorhouse uniform can be gained from the schedule of goods given to the town drapers — quotes were asked for: Women & Girls Check for aprons and handkerchiefs Dowels for shifts Yarn for stockings Linen for round frocks Straw for hats Men & Boys' Blue Honley Felt for hats In the early 1800s, the Market Street workhouse had been enlarged to accommodate around 150 inmates who now wore brown uniforms.A further £10,000 was allocated for the new building which was designed, after much competition, by London architect William Mackie.The building work was carried out by John Cheesman, a member of an extensive family of local builders, carpenters and manufacturers of cement. Churchwardens Edward Blaker, Robert Ackerson, Richard Bodle.In 1818, the Guardians decided that a new workhouse was need to cope with increasing numbers.In 1820, a nine-acre site was purchased for £1,400 at the intersection of Church Hill with a minor road which led over the Devil's Dyke to join the road to Henfield and Horsham.In 1810, Brighton parish became incorporated under a local Act and responsibility for the workhouse passed to a board of thirty Directors and Guardians of the Poor.One of the board's first tasks was to try to make the poorhouse diet more economical by reducing the consumption of bread (an expensive commodity during the post-Napoleonic period) and substituting rice or herrings in its place.
On 12th September, 1822, twenty-seven inmates were transferred to the new workhouse from the old Market Street building, followed by a further seventy-three over the following two weeks.
The new building had an 'H' shaped layout, which divided the workhouse into sections 'in order to class its inmates in the most regular manner.' Each internal area had access to a yard and the central section was for the workhouse administrators. Brighton Church Hill workhouse, 1862 The inscription over its main door read: Brighthelmstone Poor-house, Erected AD., 1821, Vicar, Rev. The inmates' duties included grinding their own flour and making their own clothes, as well as toiling in the workhouse workshops where they made such items as 'whitening' (ground chalk used for white-washing, etc.) ropes, cords, doormats, rugs, and sacking.
The central section housed the entrance hall and administrative area which included a committee-room for examination of applicants, the overseers and clerk's office, and the governor's room which also had its own sleeping apartment.
Its inmates included the town's sick, aged, and impoverished children, who in addition to performing other poorhouse tasks, were expected to make their own clothes and prepare their own food.
The new workhouse, whose construction had been dogged by escalating costs, opened in about 1730 and had almshouses added in about 1733.
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In 1779, they were also employed making mackerel nets for sale.