Parish workhouses operated at Crickhowell, Cwmdu and Llangattock.
Crickhowell Poor Law Union was formed on 6th October, 1836. Its operation was overseen by an elected Board of Guardians, 16 in number, representing its 10 constituent parishes as listed below (figures in brackets indicate numbers of Guardians if more than one):
Breconshire: Crickhowell (2), Grwyne Fawr, Grwyne Fechan, Llanbeder Ystradwy, Llanelly (3), Llanfihangel or St Michael Cwm dû, (2), Llangattock (2), Llangenan, Llangynidir (2), Patricio.
The population falling within the union at the 1831 census had been 11,305 with parishes ranging in size from Grwyne Fawr (population 21) to Llanelly (4,041). The average annual poor-rate expenditure for the period 1834-36 had been £2,172 or 3s.11d per head of the population.
Initially, the union appears to have made use of existing parish workhouse accommodation at Crickhowell (for female inmates) and Llangattock (for males). In 1837, the Poor Law Commissioners authorised the expenditure of £1,150 on a workhouse building for up to 100 inmates, possibly the enlargement of an existing structure, at Llangattock.
It appears that the early workhouse accommodation was inadequate and the subject of criticism from the Poor Law Board who, in 1870, recorded that the Crickhowell Board of Guardians had "finally agreed to build a workhouse". The new workhouse, for 170 inmates, was built to the north of Llangattock in 1871-2 on a steeply sloping site at the side of the Brecon canal. Its location and layout are shown on the 1902 map below.
The main building was a long irregularly shaped block following the contour of the hillside. An infirmary was located at the south-west of the site with a smalls separate fever ward.
A laundry block was located at the south-east of the site.
The former workhouse premises were later known as Welfare House. The buildings have now been substantially redeveloped. The former infirmary survives largely intact as a hotel.
Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals.
- Powys County Archives Office, County Hall, Llandrindod Wells, Powys, LD1 5LG. Very few records survive. Holdings include: Guardians' Minutes (1836-43, 1872-96); etc.
- Powys County Archives Office, County Hall, Llandrindod Wells, Powys, LD1 5LG.
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