The Secretary of State has decided to designate the Cleveland Street Workhouse in Central London as Grade II listed. It would seem that all the hardwork of the Cleveland Street workhouse group, numerous heritage organisations and the media have saved the building from planned demolition and development.
The workhouse was built in 1775 and is the best preserved Georgian era workhouse in Central London, and one of only three that have survived inthe capital. Its original purposewas to provide some means of dealing with the issue of the destitute poor in the local parish, although the actual conditions within such workhouses were extremely harsh, and something of a national scandal in the 19th century. The terrible plight of workhouse inhabitants is perhaps best remembered by the work of author Charles Dickens in works such as the celebrated novel Oliver Twist.