Breconshire Poor Law Unions
Under the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834 all parishes in Wales and England were grouped together into Poor Law Unions. Each Poor Law Union had to provide a place where people who were unable to support themselves could live and work, known as the workhouse. Conditions in the workhouses were deliberately made to be harsh, spartan and degrading so as to deter all but the absolutely destitute.
Before the 1834 Act, although some workhouses did exist, individual parishes provided relief in the form of money, food, clothing or goods, but the recipients continued to live independently.
The Workhouse system was not abolished until the 1930s.
These Poor Law Unions were based on neither county boundaries nor national boundaries, with many Unions along the Wales-England border covering parts of both countries.
The county of Breconshire was covered by four Unions:
|Union||Parishes & Townships included|
|Brecon|| The Brecon Poor Law Union was created on 5 October 1836 and comprised the parishes and townships of:
The workhouse was erected around 1839 to the south-west of Brecon.
|Builth|| The Builth Poor Law Union was created on 2 January 1837 and comprised the parishes and townships of:
The Workhouse was built in 1875 to the Brecon Road, to the south of Builth.
|Crickhowell|| The Crickhowell Poor Law Union was created on 6 October 1836 and comprised the parishes and townships of:
A new Workhouse built at Llangattock around 1872 replacing earlier buildings at Crickhowell (females) and Llangattock (males).
|Hay|| Hay Poor Law Union was created on 26 September 1836 and comprised the parishes and townships of:
The Workhouse was built in St Mary's Road, Hay on 1837.
- Workhouses (National Library)
- Poor Law Administration (National Library)
- Llanfyllin Workhouse restoration (BBC Wales)