Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Crickhowell and district
The workhouse
  Bread must be more than one day old...  

The Board of Guardians who ran the workhouse had regular meetings, and their instructions were written in leather-bound Minute Books. Just one book from Crickhowell Union remains, but it has many entries which tell us a lot about life in the workhouse in the early Victorian years.
This first entry concerns a new contract to supply bread to the Crickhowell Union workhouses...

Workhouse inmate
20th October
Minute book entry  
  "The quality to be best seconds, to be delivered at Llangattock Poor House, Crickhowell Poor House, Llanelly and Tretower. The bread to be not less than 24 nor more than 48 hours old."
The normal food given to paupers was chosen for its cheapness, and was barely enough to live on, except for one decent meal every year, at Christmas...
Workhouse food
17th December
Minute book entry "That the inmates of the Workhouse be allowed a substantial dinner on Christmas Day, consisting of roast beef and plum pudding, with a pint of ale to each adult individual".

The regular weekly diet for the workhouse in 1838 was almost the same as for prisoners in Brecon jail ! It was mostly bread and soup, with potatoes and a little cheap meat for dinner, and some cheese.
There was no way of avoiding the terrible new workhouses for many unfortunate people - see the next page...

Packed off to the workhouse...


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