TELEGRAPH reader Phil Dewhurst has been documenting the demolition of the old Clitheroe hospital which is making way for homes.

The razing of the 145-year-old building is well under way and Mr Dewhurst sent his drone up to capture these stunning images.

The building has a fascinating, and somewhat dark, history dating back into the 1800s.

Building work started in 1870 on the workhouse for 200 inmates with a 36-bed hospital incorporated.

The building opened in April 1873 and housed the destitute and mentally ill in horrendous conditions.

The workhouse was the last resort for the poor who had exhausted every other option in their life – and taking your entire family there was deeply shaming and stigmatising.

The paupers were forced to work all day for would receive a meal and a bed.

The work that took place there centred around the cotton industry. Dissenters or the 'idle' faced being dragged by horses to Preston gaol.

The 1722 Workhouse Act was passed to give churches the power to build workhouses to house the poor.

In Clitheroe two small buildings had been sufficient to cope with the problem but in the years leading up to the decision to build the poor house the community had become overrun with more and more beggars.

Clitheroe Poor Law Union was formed in 1837. Its operation was overseen by an elected Board of Guardians, 35 in total, representing its 33 constituent parishes of Aighton Bailey and Chaigley, Chatburn, Chipping, Clitheroe, Downham, Little Bowland with Leagram, Mearley, Pendleton, Thornley with Wheatley, Twiston, Whalley, Wiswell, Worston in the County of Lancaster. In the West Riding of Yorkshire, the parishes were Bashall Eaves, Bolton by Bowland, High Bowland Forest, Low Bowland Forest, Easington, Gisburn, Gisburn Forest, Great Mitton, Grindleton, Horton, Midhope, Newsholme, Newton, Paythorne, Rimington, Sawley, Slaidburn, Waddington and West Bradford.

In 1930 the Poor Law system finally ended and most of the workhouses were closed down for good.

That year, Clitheroe Workhouse became Coplow View Public Assistance Infirmary – a general hospital for the local population.

Eighteen years later in 1948, it became part of the newly formed National Health Service and was renamed Clitheroe Community Hospital.