In Victorian society the workhouse represented the underbelly of society, where anyone who was poor, homeless, unemployed or ill was sent to live.
With no benefits system in place, destitute people were either left to starve on the streets or forced to submit themselves to the harsh conditions of the workhouse where they worked ten hours a day doing menial tasks such as breaking rocks up or picking apart ropes.
In this two part series, presenter Fern Britton, actress Kiera Chaplin, actor Brian Cox, actress Felicity Kendal and author Barbara Taylor Bradford go back to the sites of the workhouses where their ancestors lived to find out what happened to them.
A New Beginning
Episode 1x2; Jul 02, 2013
In the second part of this two-part series author Barbara Taylor-Bradford discovers letters that she has never seen before which explain what happened to her aunts and uncles after they went into the workhouse. Actor Brian Cox finds out how his relations escaped the shadow of the workhouse and went on to lead happy lives. And actress Felicity Kendal is shocked to discover that her great-grandmother was forced into the workhouse after she had an affair.
1x2: A New Beginning
1x1: The Last Resort
Jim Carter as Narrator
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