The Haverfordwest Union workhouse was built in 1837-39 at the south of Haverfordwest on an elevated site above the old Priory. The Poor Law Commissioners authorised an expenditure of £4,000 for the new building which was to accommodate around 150 inmates. The building was designed by local architect William Owen who also designed the workhouse at the adjacent union of Narberth.
In 1894, the British Medical Journal
set up a "commission" to investigate conditions in provincial workhouses and their infirmaries. Following a visit to Haverfordwest, the commission's report found much to criticise. The infirmary wards were small, dirty, and lacked hot water and adequate ventilation and heating; most of the patients slept on low plank beds; the toilet facilities indoors consisted of a few commodes, with one on each landing for night-time use; the water-closets, all located outdoors, were described as "simply cesspools, and some were very unpleasant." The report concluded that the workhouse infirmary "is unsuitable for its purpose, and the system on which it is worked is faulty in every particular."
In 1930, the workhouse was officially renamed Haverfordwest Institution although it was also known as Priory Mount. With with the onset of the Second World War, it came into service as a hospital. After the war, it was renamed St Thomas Hospital and was unit of the County Hospital and Withybush Hospital. It closed in 1978 and was converted into flats in 1982.
A John Thomas was the head of the workhouse along with his wife Annie and 2 daughters Maud and Frances. There were 162 residents at the workhouse according to the 1881 census, workhouses in the 19th century were often used as hospitals and some of the residents were classed as 'lunatics' or 'idiots'. Follow this link to find out who was in the workhouse when the 1881 census was taken: http://www.workhouses.org.uk/Haverfordwest/Haverfordwest1881.shtml