The layout comprised a two-storey entrance block containing the board-room, porter's lodge, probationary wards, refractory wards and vagrants' wards.
The three-storey main block was based on a central corridor plan.
Greenwich is one of the earliest examples of this type of design which became extremely popular — around 150 corridor plan workhouses were built between 18.
At the centre of the main block were the Master's quarters, with a T-shaped chapel/dining-hall behind.
The architect, RP Browne, later described his design as as 'plain but cheerful and almslike'.
Greenwich Woolwich Road workhouse from south-west, 1844.
THAT such Orders be set up in the House as shall be appointed by his Majesty's Justices of the Peace, the Gentlemen of the Committee, Church-Wardens, and Overseers of the Poor, for the better Regulation of the House. AN Apothecary attends the Sick with proper Medicines at 15l. A School-Mistress belonging to the House teaches the Children to read. The 1732 edition of the Account also recorded that a workhouse was erected in Deptford in 1726.THE Parishioners, taking the same into their Consideration, thankfully accepted of this Offer, and submitted the Direction of it to such Management, as the said Gentlemen should prescribe. Matthew Marryott, of Olney in Buckinghamshire, having, with great Success, directed the setting up Houses of Maintenance for the Poor in Buckinghamshire, and other Counties, was invited to Greenwich, to propose a Plan, by which the like might be done there.Accordingly, this Summer, a commodious House has been built near the Church, at the Charge of the Honourable Gentlemen aforesaid ; and at Midsummer, all such Poor, as receiv'd Weekly Pensions from the Parish, were admitted into it, to the Number of 900 odd, and are at present employ'd in the picking of Oakum, winding Silk for Throwsters, Spinning Jersey, and such other Work as they are capable of under Mr. THIS Undertaking being its Infancy, it does not yet appear what will be the Success of it ; but one good Effect it has already had, viz.Its operation was overseen by an elected Board of Guardians, 20 in number, representing representing its 4 constituent parishes as follows (with numbers of Guardians for each): Greenwich (8); St Nicholas, Deptford (3); St Paul, Deptford (4); Woolwich (5).The population falling within the Union at the 1831 census had been 62,009 — ranging from St Nicholas, Deptford (population 6,036) to Greenwich itself (24,553).