The Life of Levi Newham

A creative interpretation of the life of Levi Newham, inmate at Southwell Union Workhouse (now The Workhouse, Southwell). Researched and created as part of the More Than Oliver Twist project by The Workhouse Network, funded by Arts Council England.

By The Workhouse Network

This exhibit is part of More Than Oliver Twist, which combines audio narrative and visualisations that interpret historic biographies of UK workhouse inmates from the 1881 census and relates them to 21st century lived experience. We invite you to encounter the multidimensional lives of the people known then as ‘paupers’. The work is drawn directly from the research, museum collections, workhouse buildings, volunteers’ experiences and related contemporary lives. Levi Newham's exhibit contains material some may find upsetting: suicide, mental health issues, physical disability and assault.

Illustration by Mel Rye.

Illustration - Levi Newham (2020) by Mel RyeThe Workhouse Network

Listen to Lookout radio to hear about the life of Levi Newham.

Audio by Morgan Tipping.
Illustration by Mel Rye.

Radio Interview - Levi Newham (2020) by Morgan TippingThe Workhouse Network

A full, referenced biography researched and written by Judith of The Workhouse, Southwell is available at:

Illustration - Levi Newham (2020) by Mel RyeThe Workhouse Network

Google Streetview of the exterior of Southwell Union Workhouse, now The Workhouse, National Trust.

Visuals by Mel Rye.

People's Perspective - Levi (2020) by Mel RyeThe Workhouse Network

Former support worker and community worker Bob shares his thoughts on Levi Newham's life.

Audio and animation by Morgan Tipping.

Bob on Levi Newham's Story (2020) by Morgan TippingThe Workhouse Network

If you have been affected by any of the issues touched upon in Levi's story, you may wish to explore these organisations:

National Suicide Prevention Alliance with The Tomorrow Project in Nottinghamshire:

Children’s Bereavement Centre in Newark:

Share Your Thoughts - Levi (2020) by Mel RyeThe Workhouse Network

Visuals by Mel Rye.

Researcher's Voice - Levi (2020) by Mel RyeThe Workhouse Network

Workhouse volunteer and researcher Judith shares her passion for family research and the discoveries she made about Levi Newham's life in context at Southwell Union Workhouse.

Audio and animation by Morgan Tipping.

Judith on Levi Newham (2020) by Morgan TippingThe Workhouse Network

Explore behind the scenes of the Making of the More Than Oliver Twist exhibits.

Making More Than Oliver Twist (2020) by Megan DennisThe Workhouse Network

Credits: Story

Enormous thanks to everyone involved in the project across the six sites who made invaluable contributions through many hours of research into the biographies, and by supporting the development of the creative commission

In this exhibit, special thanks to:

Workhouse and research volunteer Judith for The Workhouse, National Trust, Southwell, sharing Levi Newham’s life and insights into the research process.

Bob for sharing his perspective on Levi Newham's story.

Regional Contacts, Mentors and Volunteer Researchers:

The Workhouse, National Trust, Southwell:
Regional Contact: Jan Overfield Shaw
Regional Mentor: Fiona Lewin
Research Volunteers:
Amanda, Angela Elmore, Ann Keen, Charlotte May, Connie Atkinson, Derek Wileman, Jane Bench, Jane, Judith, Kim Newell, Kim Robinson, Liz Muckle, Martin Read, Roger Hamilton, Sarah Read and Sarah Shipley.

Thanks to the ‘radio’ host Andy Turnbull introducing Levi’s Newham’s story

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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