Flintshire 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 Flintshire was covered by five Unions:
|Union||Parishes & Townships included|
|Hawarden|| The Hawarden Poor Law Union was created on 1 February 1853, formed out of the Great Boughton Union. The Union included the parishes and townships of:
The Workhouse was built about 1854 in Broughton.
The records for the Hawarden Union are held at Flintshire Record Office in Hawarden.
|Holywell|| The Holywell Union was created on 30 January 1837 and comprised the parishes and townships of:
The workhouse was built on the Old Chester Road in Holywell. This site later became the became the Lluesty Hospital.
The records for the Holywell Union are held at Flintshire Record Office in Hawarden.
|St Asaph|| The St Asaph Poor Law Union was created on 10 April, 1837. The Union icomprised the parishes and townships of:
The Workhouse was built around 1839 on the Denbigh Road to the south of St Asaph.
In 1847, a five-year old orphan by the name of John Rowlands of Denbigh was admitted to the St Asaph workhouse. After emigrating to the United States, and adopting the name Henry Morton Stanley, he became a famous journalist and explorer.
The records for the St. Asaph Union are held at Flintshire Record Office in Hawarden.
|Ellesmere|| The Ellesmere Poor Law Union was created on 14 November 1836. It covered rural parts on both sides of the border and comprised the parishes and townships of:
The Workhouse was in Haughton, Ellesmere.
The records for the Ellesmere Union are held at Shropshire Record Office in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England.
|Great Boughton (1837-1871)|| The Great Boughton Poor Law Union was created on 17 May 1837. It covered large parts of Cheshire but also comprised the Welsh parishes and townships of:
The Workhouse was built in 1857 on Heath Lane in Tarvin. This later became a care-home for the elderly.
The records for the Great Boughton Union are held at Cheshire Record Office in Chester, Cheshire, England.
- Workhouses (National Library)
- Poor Law Administration (National Library)
- Llanfyllin Workhouse restoration (BBC Wales)