This evening we went to a talk on Kirkcudbright Poorhouse at the Parish Church Hall, at 7.30 pm. I append below the text of the Kirkcudbright History Society’s post on Facebook . . .
At the January meeting Donald Cowell gave a fascinating account of the Kirkcudbright Poors House.
As part of Poor Law Reforms, made in Scotland in 1845, parishes were able to combine to build Poorhouses to care for the “disabled” and “destitute”.
The site of the Poorhouse in Kirkcudbright posed a problem for the town council as people did not want it built in the centre of the town. A map of 1843 shows that a poor people’s house had existed on the High Street probably to provide temporary shelter for homeless poor.
It was agreed to build the Poorhouse at the Nursery ground half a mile from the centre of the town. The Poorhouse which opened in early 1851 was a large, plain U shaped building, 3 storeys high, on a 2 acre site with a capacity of 250 poor inmates although it rarely exceeded 80.
Food was plain and simple and in the early years based on oatmeal, porridge and a simple meat and vegetable broth.
A more detailed account of Don’s presentation, with more images, can be found on www.kirkcudbrighthistorysociety.org.uk
We went along although I knew that I should be unable to catch very much of what was said as I never can at public events unless there is a hearing loop, which there did not seem to be. However, I got the gist of the thing from what I could hear, and from the Power point slides the speaker put up. The audience were very attentive and from time to time they laughed, but of course I could not tell why. The subject was and is of interest to us because our house (and those of our near neighbours) stands on part of the Poorhouse site and as we go to and fro we pass the its last remaining gatepost.
It is good to get out to such things as even if communication is difficult the sense of being in society is good, as hearing loss is a very isolating disability.