the workhouse. This one, in fact, isn't as bad as the ones in the big cities, supposedly, but it still seemed pretty dismal. The reason it wasn't quite as dismal was because it was in a rural area, and at least some of the people who went in would be able to leave seasonally for farm labor.
It's not quite as huge as it looks, because the ceilings aren't nearly as high as in a lot of places you see pictures of, and it's also basically one room deep. One side is for men, one side for women, and there's a back area for children.
picking oakum. This is where women prepared food, in the basement, which (they told us) would sometimes fill with up to 7 inches of water. What a nasty place to have to work! Food would be kept up on the bench things, but the women would have to stand in the water while they peeled potatoes and such.
They had a food schedule thing up, so we could see how much food people got to eat, and boy, did they have a lot of potatoes. And gruel. And no, they didn't get raisins, cinnamon, and brown sugar on their porridge, I'm pretty sure.
It's not a widely known fact, but I have a latrine rating system. On a scale of 1-10. It's true. I have a feeling these latrines would have been right down with the very worst I've ever used.
The students paired learning about the workhouse and learning about life in the Abbey recently, and I have to say, from what I saw there was a lot to learn.
And once again, I'm very glad not to live in the Victorian era!