Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Llandrindod and district
Care of the poor
  Falling on hard times in central Radnorshire  
Workhouse drawing
To find out more about workhouses in general, click on the image above.

In 1834 the government introduced an entirely new system for looking after the poor. The country was divided into areas to provide care through local Poor Law Unions. At this time there was no town of Llandrindod Wells so these parishes of central Radnorshire came under various Unions. Each Union was run by a Board of Guardians chosen from across the area. The old records of the Guardians tell us something about how the poor of the area were cared for.
The new system looked after the poor by locking them away in workhouses and making them work for the care they received. It was a system designed to make poor people ashamed of needing help.

  If you lived in the parishes in the West of the area you would have to go to the Rhayader Union if you got into trouble. This would include the parish of Cefnllys. The southern part of the area was looked after by the Builth Union. This meant that when the town of Llandrindod Wells developed half the town was in the Rhayader Union and half by the Builth Union.
Llandrindod Wells itself was a good source of employment for local people. There were new hotels and guest houses, the new railway, and many new shops which all required people to work in them. For farm labourers in the surrounding countryside there were many building sites in the growing town which they could work on if times got hard on the land.
  Unfortunately the records of the Builth Union have not survived but to get an idea of workhouse life in the area, visit the pages on the workhouse in Rhayader.  


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