The Anti-Pauper System contains a ground plan of the incorporated workhouse in Thurgarton and a diet table, dating from 1834. Inmates were segregated into various groups and were separated from the opposite sex. The men's yard and day room were apart from the women's, despite the fact that many residents were from the same families. There was also a schoolroom for the children.
The new Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 set up a strict system of poor relief. Responsibility was transferred from the parishes to the new district Boards of Guardians. Parishes were grouped together into unions and new, more efficient workhouses were built. The system was supervised by a national Poor Law Commission. The aim was to reduce the growing cost of helping the poor.