Merionethshire Poor Law UnionsEdit This Page

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Wales Gotoarrow.png Merionethshire Gotoarrow.png 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 Merionethshire was covered by four Unions:

Union Parishes & Townships included
Bala Bala Poor Law Union was created on 10 January, 1837 and comprised the parishes and townships of:
  • Llandderfel, Llanfor, Llangower, Llanuwchllyn, Llanycil.

The first Workhouse was built around 1840 in High Street, Bala but was later replaced by a larger building.

The records for the Bala Union are held at the Meirionnydd Archive in Dolgellau.

Corwen The Corwen Union was created on 13 December 1836 and comprised the parishes and townships of:
  • Merionethshire: Betws Gwerful Goch, Corwen, Gwyddelwern, Llandrillo, Llangar, Llanfihangel Glyn Myfyr, Llansanffraid Glyndyfrdwy.
  • Denbighshire: Bryneglwys, Cerrig y Druidion, Glyn Traian, Llanfihangel Glyn Myfyr, Llangollen, Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog, Llandisilio, Llangwm, Llansanffraid Glyn Ceiriog.

The workhouse was built at Corwen but not completed until April 1840. The building is now a craft centre.

The records for the Corwen Union are held at the Meirionnydd Archive in Dolgellau.

Dolgellau Dolgellau Poor Law Union was created on 12 January, 1837 and comprised the parishes and townships of:
  • Merionethshire: Dolgellau, Llanegryn, Llanfachreth, Llangelynin, Llanymawddwy, Llanaber, Llanddwywe is Graig, Llanddwywe uwch Graig, Llaneltyd, Llanenddwyn, Llanfihangel y Pennant, Mallwyd (part), Talyllyn.
  • Montgomeryshire: Mallwyd (part).

The Workhouse was built east of Dolgellau.

The records for the Dolgellau Union are held at the Meirionnydd Archive in Dolgellau.

Ffestiniog The Ffestiniog Poor Law Union was created on 8 May 1837 and comprised the parishes and townships of:
  • Merionethshire: Ffestiniog, Llanbedr, Llandanwg, Llandecwyn, Llanfair, Llanfihangel y Traethau, Llanfrothen, Maentwrog, Trawsfynydd.
  • Caernarfonshire: Beddgelert, Dolbenmaen, Penmorfa, Treflys, Ynys Cynhaiarn.

The Workhouse was built in about 1839 at Minffordd, near Porthmadog.

The records for the Ffestiniog Union are held at the Meirionnydd Archive in Dolgellau.


See also

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  • This page was last modified on 6 December 2012, at 12:34.
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