- Cross Houses
Cross Houses viewed from the centre of the A458.
Cross Houses shown within Shropshire
OS grid reference Parish Berrington District Shrewsbury and Atcham Shire county Shropshire Region West Midlands Country England Sovereign state United Kingdom Post town SHREWSBURY Postcode district SY5 6 Dialling code 01743 Police West Mercia Fire Shropshire Ambulance West Midlands EU Parliament West Midlands UK Parliament Shrewsbury and Atcham List of places: UK • England • Shropshire
Cross Houses is a village in Shropshire, England, the largest village in the Parish of Berrington. It is located on the A458 road, 4 miles SE of Shrewsbury. It was once served by Berrington railway station, which despite the name was much closer to Cross Houses than to its namesake. The village has a busy Shop/Post Office/Petrol Station and also a pub "The Bell". The village also used to be home to a second pub "The Fox" which has since been converted into a single dwelling and a second house built in the former car park.
Cross Houses is also the name of a hamlet SW of Bridgnorth.
Cross Houses was the birthplace of Kevin Whitrick, the first Briton to commit suicide online.
Atcham Union Workhouse / Cross Houses Hospital
Cross Houses has long been renowned for the hospital site, which has recently been redeveloped for housing.
The hospital was originally built as the Atcham Union Workhouse in 1793 following Atcham's incorporation under a local Act in 1792. The Incorporation was allowed under the Act to build and operate workhouses. The original building was designed by local architect John Hiram Haycock (1759–1850), and was later extended in 1851, 1871 and 1903 to increase capacity.
The part of the building that was the original Workhouse, now residential accommodation, is called Haycock House after the original architect.
In 1916, the building became Berrington War Hospital before becoming a general hospital, maternity hospital and geriatric hospital. The building was eventually used as NHS Trust admin offices and storage. The offices were closed in 2000 and redeveloped into modern housing.
The development, commencing in 2001, aimed to preserve the heritage of the original buildings in the workhouse complex. The original workhouse building, the kitchen/laundry block and the chapel remained where other extensions were taken down. The chapel now houses a community centre and the former laundry and kitchen block houses offices.
Architecturally, the appeal of the building is with the original Workhouse and the original laundry/kitchen block which has some of the earliest cast-iron windows in the world. It is also note-worthy that "great" bricks were used in the construction of the Workhouse, reflecting the response of brick manufacturers to the brick tax.
Art in Cross Houses
The history of the buildings inspired a group of artists during its redevelopment and Benchart in Cross Houses was formed. The artists developed contemporary public artworks in rural areas, recycling reclaimed materials from the site. Some of the art works include sculpted benches around the Workhouse and chapel and bus shelters built using reclaimed materials and reflecting the 'local vernacular'.
Notes and references
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