Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Crickhowell and district
The workhouse
  The paupers to be immediately removed...  
The workhouse smock shown opposite can be seen at Brecknock Museum
in Brecon.

After the Crickhowell Union was set up under the 1834 Poor Law, steps were taken to round up all paupers from the surrounding parishes. This was done when suitable buildings were obtained, but desperate people were herded like cattle from place to place until the large Union Workhouse was ready.
An entry in the Union Minute Book from 29th December 1836 reads "Mr Franco having certified that all the paupers now in Cwmdu and Llangynidr workhouses are capable of being removed, ordered that measures be immediately taken for their removal - the men to Llangattock and the women to Crickhowell Poor House".
And there is a similarly heartless entry from 1838...

Workhouse garment
This is a rare surviving smock from Brecknock Union, to be worn in the workhouse. It has the Union badge stamped on it.
18th June
Minute book entry
  18th June - "Ordered that the paupers be immediately removed from the Crickhowell Poor House to Llangattock Poor House".
The next entry from 1838 is a reminder of another harsh side of the new ways of dealing with paupers in the community...
Men in workhouse
26th March
Minute book entry

26th March - "Patrishow Parish. Elizabeth Davies's child, relief to cease. Workhouse to be offered"
The words "relief to cease" meant that money from parish funds would no longer be paid for the family to stay in their own home. This much kinder (but more expensive) system was called 'Outdoor Relief", but the new Poor Law meant that the Union Workhouse was now to be the only alternative to starvation for the poorest people in the community.
For many, including children, the workhouse meant death, as you can see on the next page...

Cheap living and cheap dying...


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