Before 1836, Gnosall Workhouse was independently run by the churchwarden and elected overseers for Gnosall, Knightley, Moreton and Cowley. The minutes of their meetings in the church vestry were written in large books, which were stored in the "Greate Coffer" (the ancient oak chest still in St Lawrence church). These books are now in Staffordshire Record Office on Eastgate Street, Stafford. In 1936 Mr S.A. Cutlack went through them and published some of their details and his summary is in the William Salt Library. The first known Workhouse at Gnosall (1733) was a converted Barn, whereabouts unknown. Blankets were bought for it in 1734. By 1738 it was too small, and they were sending some of the poor to Penkridge.