Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
         
Llanfyllin and district
The Union Workhouse
 
  A Victorian prison for the poor  
 

For many years the usual way to provide help for the very poorest people in the community, including those who were very old and very sick, was to pay for them to stay in their homes.
The money for this came from the Poor Rate, collected from the people of the parish, and this system of caring for the poor was called 'Outdoor Relief'.
But there were many complaints from parishes about the cost of the poor rate, and wealthy landowners were among those demanding a cheaper way of dealing with the poor.
The government's Women in a workhouse answer was a new Act of Parliament in 1834 which forced parishes to combine together into Unions and build large workhouses for the whole area. These were almost like prisons, with bare walls, hard beds, and little food. Family members were split up and could never meet as long as they were in the workhouse. People were terrified of being sent to the workhouse - and who could blame them ?
One of these awful places was built in 1838 just outside Llanfyllin, and you can learn more about it from these pages...

There is more
about
workhouses
on our
'Care of the
Poor' pages
 
Welcome to the workhouse
 
 
Work for a pauper child
 
 
Child servants from the workhouse
 
 
Breaking stones for breakfast
 
 
Deaths from disease
 
 
Punishments for the poor
 
 
Cold rooms and cold baths
 
 
Roast beef for Christmas
 
 

Back to Llanfyllin menu

 

Link to sources
Back to top
Go to places menu
RDR