In 1813, Llanrwst relieved 135 paupers in a workhouse. In the same year, thirty-two from Eglwys-Fach (now Eglwysbach) were supported in a similar manner.
Llanrwst Poor Law Union was formed on 26th April, 1837. Its operation was overseen by an elected Board of Guardians, 20 in number, representing its 17 constituent parishes as listed below (figures in brackets indicate numbers of Guardians if more than one):
County of Denbigh:
Gwernbowel, Gwytherin, Llandogged, Llangerniew (2), Pentre Voylas.
Counties of Denbigh and Carnarvon: Eglwys Fach [now Eglwysbach] (2), Eidda, Llanrwst (2), Maenan, Tir Evan, Tre Gwydir, Trebrys.
County of Carnarvon: Bettws y Coed, Dolwyddelan, Llanrhychwyn, Penmachuo, Trefriew.
The population falling within the Union at the 1831 census had been 11,312 with parishes ranging in size from Gwernbowel (population 73) to Llanrwst itself (3,225). The average annual poor-rate expenditure for the period 1834-36 had been £5,175 or 9s.2d. per head of the population.
Llanrwst Union workhouse was erected at a site on Station Road just to the north of Llanrwst in around 1850. The workhouse location and layout are shown on the 1915 map below.
The workhouse design followed the popular cruciform or "square" layout with separate accommodation wings for the different classes of inmate (male/female, infirm/able-bodied etc.) radiating from a central hub.
From 1865 to 1905, the master of the workhouse was Mr William Jones.
In 1930, the establishment was taken over by Denbighshire County Council and was redesignated as a Public Assistance Institution. The buildings are believed to have been demolished in the 1960s.
Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.
- North-East Wales Archives (Ruthin), Ruthin Gaol, 46 Clwyd Street, Ruthin, Denbighshire LL15 1HP. Few records survive — holdings include: Guardians' minute books (1837-1930); Ledgers and accounts (1837-1929).
- Higginbotham, Peter The Workhouse Encyclopedia (2014, The History Press)
- NEW! Workhouses of Wales and the Welsh Borders. The story of the workhouse across the whole of Wales and the border counties of Cheshire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire. More...
Unless otherwise indicated, this page () is copyright Peter Higginbotham. Contents may not be reproduced without permission.