The Laburnum Inn was situated on Sleetmoor Lane and was originally built in 1804 as the Alfreton Poor House.
During the 17th century, the Alfreton Overseers accepted charitable bequests made by prominent people of the area in order alleviate the suffering of the poor. After interviewing a claimant, the Overseers would decide what help, if any, would be given. They had at this time the authority and power to remove poor people from the parish if they did not rightfully belong there. The cost of relief kept rising and disturbed by events, the Overseers decided to take advantage of the Poor Law Act of 1781. This entailed the building of a house “…for the reception of people who are and may be burthensome to this parish…”.
A special meeting was held at the George Inn, Alfreton on 11 February 1801, where it was agreed that a Poor House be built to house the poor and legally settled people of the parish (those not legally settled would still be removed to their own parish). In consequence, the Alfreton Poor House was built in 1804 on Sleetmoor Common. The site of the Poor House is near to the modern road junction with Bloomfield Road.
After the closure of the Poor House, the building was sold into private ownership and was converted into cottages and a public house. A license application by Askew Ball was reported in the Derbyshire Courier on 14 September 1867, when it was stated that the building had been used for a beer-house for the previous 23 years, giving a date for the closure and sale of the workhouse as 1844. At the time of the license application the name of the public house was recorded as the “Old Workhouse Inn”, although at some point it became known as “The Laburnum”. A report in the Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald of 3 October 1896 records that Askew Ball was the licensee at the time, and had therefore been at the Laburnum for some 19 years. The inn was given the name of the “Laburnum Tree Inn” in the report, which referred to a request by Mr. Askew to add to the premises by creating a doorway through to an adjoining cottage, which he and his family would use as their private dwelling. The application was granted
Trade at this Inn was seasonal. Although it stood alone on Sleetmoor Lane, it was, at one time, a popular meeting place for local people. The building itself, however, was never refurbished or brought up to more modern standards. The Laburnum Inn closed and the building remained derelict for some time before it was finally demolished in January 1964, after 160 years.
The Laburnum Inn is to the right of the building in the photograph, with the cottage on the left.