A house where any manufacture is carried on; a workshop.
A house in which idle and vicious persons are confined to labor.
A house where the town poor are maintained at public expense, and provided with labor; a poorhouse.
a poorhouse where able-bodied poor are compelled to labor
An establishment offering relief for the destitute poor in an area, funded from the local poor rate, which â€” under the supervision of a Master and/or Matron â€” provided some combination of communal accommodation and a requirement for inmates, particularly the able-bodied, to perform work which was often deterrent in nature, e.g. stone-breaking or oakum-picking. Workhouses usually also had a prescribed dietary. (See also Poorhouse, Almshouse.)
Building where the poor who were unable to support themselves were housed and made to work if able. The 1723 Workhouse Act stopped relief being given to the able-bodied who refused to enter the workhouse.
In British history, a workhouse was a place where people who were unable to support themselves could go to live and work. The earliest recorded example of a workhouse dates to 1652 in Exeter although there is some written evidence that workhouses existed before this date. Records mention a workhouse in 1631 in Abingdonhttp://users.ox.ac.uk/~peter/workhouse/intro/intro.shtml.