ABSTRACT

Eastgate House started life in 1836 as Freebridge Lynn Union workhouse, near Gayton (see Map 3.1).1 Designed by William John Donthorn, it had a cruciform and a ‘rationalist, linear style of neo-classicism’, the main facade featuring some ornamentation to di erentiate it from earlier, prison-like workhouses, although other aspects were ‘strictly utilitarian’.2 ‘A plain building’ for up to 130 inmates, the two-storey structure featured a central block anked by two short crosswings.3 Smaller than other workhouses in Norfolk, it cost £5,146 or £34 per capita, considerably above the £10 per capita recommended in the 1834 Poor Law Report.4 e result was a ‘pleasantly non-institutional’ appearance, which

‘hinted at charitable benevolence … [and] an atmosphere of security and domesticity’, albeit with strict sexual segregation and classi cation of the inmates.5