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Powys Digital History Project
The workhouse at Caersws
Care of the poor
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The new Caersws workhouse  
  In this photograph we can see the large dark walls of the new building with small barred windows. It looks a grim place and it is not surprising that some local people referred to it as the Bastille after the famous French prison.  
Workhouse drawing
To find out more about workhouses in general, click on the image above
It would have been the largest building for miles around and clearly visible in the landscape.The Master and Matron had their quarters in the central tower so that they had access to the wards running off from there. There were separate areas for the men and for women and children so that families were divided when going into the workhouse.  

There were separate workrooms and dining halls, a surgery, a nursery, schoolrooms, a laundry and a mortuary!
Once poor people had asked for help they were brought to this workhouse where they were fed, clothed and looked after if they were sick, but always under the strict control of the staff. They would then be put to hard work to earn their keep.
It was not always easy to get out of the workhouse because the authorities did not want paupers leaving and then not being able to support themselves.

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