Breconshire Poor Law Unions

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Wales Gotoarrow.png Breconshire Gotoarrow.png Poor Law Unions

Under the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834 all parishes in Wales and England were grouped together into Poor Law Unions. Each Poor Law Union had to provide a place where people who were unable to support themselves could live and work, known as the workhouse. Conditions in the workhouses were deliberately made to be harsh, spartan and degrading so as to deter all but the absolutely destitute.

Before the 1834 Act, although some workhouses did exist, individual parishes provided relief in the form of money, food, clothing or goods, but the recipients continued to live independently.

The Workhouse system was not abolished until the 1930s.

These Poor Law Unions were based on neither county boundaries nor national boundaries, with many Unions along the Wales-England border covering parts of both countries.

The county of Breconshire was covered by four Unions:

Union Parishes & Townships included
Brecon The Brecon Poor Law Union was created on 5 October 1836 and comprised the parishes and townships of:
  • Aberysgir, Battle, Brecon Christ's College, Brecon St. David or Llanfaes, Brecon St. John, Brecon St. Mary, Cantref and Capel Nant Ddu, Cathedin, Crai, Garth Brengi, Glyn, Glyntawe, Llanddeti, Llanddewi, Llandyfaelog Fach, Llandyfaelog Tre'r Graig, Llandefalle, Llandeilo'r Fân, Llanfeugan, Llanfihangel Fechan, Llanfihangel Nant Brân, Llanfihangel Tal y Llyn, Llanfilo, Llanfrynach, Llangasty Tal y Llyn, Llangors, Llanhamlach, Llansanffraid, Llansbyddyd, Llan y wern, Maescar, Merthyr Cynog, Modrydd, Pen Pont, Senni, Talach Ddu, Trallwng, Trawscoed, Traian Glas, Traian Mawr, Ysclydach.

The workhouse was erected around 1839 to the south-west of Brecon.

Builth The Builth Poor Law Union was created on 2 January 1837 and comprised the parishes and townships of:
  • Breconshire: Allt Mawr, Builth, Crucadarn, Gwarafog, Gwenddwr, Llanafan Fechan, Llanafan Fawr, Llanddewi Abergwesyn, Llanddewi'r Cwm, Llanfihangel Abergwesyn, Llanfihangel Bryn Pabuan, Llanganten, Llangynog, Llanllywenfel, Llanynys, Llysdinam, Maes Mynys, Pembuallt, Rhosferig, Treflis.
  • Radnorshire: Aberedw, Betws Diserth, Cregrina, Diserth & Trecoed, Llanbadarn Garreg, Llandrindod, Llanelwedd, Llanfaredd, Llansanfraid yn Elfael, Rhiwlen.

The Workhouse was built in 1875 to the Brecon Road, to the south of Builth.

Crickhowell The Crickhowell Poor Law Union was created on 6 October 1836 and comprised the parishes and townships of:
  • Crickhowell, Grwyne Fawr, Grwyne Fechan, Llanbeder Ystrad Yw, Llanelly, Llanfihangel Cwm Du, Llangattock, Llangenan, Llangynidr, Patrisio.

A new Workhouse built at Llangattock around 1872 replacing earlier buildings at Crickhowell (females) and Llangattock (males).

Hay Hay Poor Law Union was created on 26 September 1836 and comprised the parishes and townships of:
  • Brecon: Aberllynfy, Bronllys, Glynfach (Capel y Ffin), Hay, Llaneliau, Llanigon, Llyswen, Pipton, Talgarth, Trego Yd & Felindre.
  • Radnorshire: Betws Clyro, Boughrood, Bryngwyn, Clyro, Glasbury, Llanbedr Painscastle, Llandeilo Graban, Llanstephan, Llowes
  • Herefordshire: Bredwardine, Clifford, Cusop, Dorstone, Whitney.

The Workhouse was built in St Mary's Road, Hay on 1837.

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