Until 1834, every parish was responsible for funding the relief of its own paupers, and Stroud had a parish workhouse in Parliament St. on the site of St. Alban's church. The parish relief system was seen as unfair, and an Act of Parliament of 1834, grouped parishes together in "unions", which were collectively responsible for the relief of the poor from the whole area.
The Stroud Union consisted of the parishes of Avening, Bisley, Cranham, Horsley, Minchinhampton, Miserden, Painswick, Pitchcombe, Randwick, Rodborough, Kings Stanley, Leonard Stanley, Stonehouse, Stroud and Woodchester. It was managed by a Board of 31 Guardians.
In 1837, the Board built a new workhouse on the north side of Bisley New Road to the designs of Charles Baker of Painswick, to accommodate all the paupers from the district. The building was later extended by W.H.C. Fisher c.1899, but ceased to be used as a workhouse in 1930, when the system was abandoned. It was later converted to flats and is now called Stone Manor.