Caernarfonshire 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 historic county of Caernarfonshire was covered by six Unions:
|Union||Parishes & Townships included|
|Bangor|| The Bangor & Beaumaris Poor Law Union was created on 30 May 1837 and comprised the parishes and townships of:
The Workhouse was opened in 1845 on the Caernarfon Road at Glan Adda, Bangor.
|Caernarfon|| The Caernarfon Poor Law Union was created on 1 June 1837 and comprised the parishes and townships of:
The Workshouse was built in the south of Caernarfon.
|Conwy|| Conway (Conwy) Poor Law Union wascreated on 11 April, 1837 abd comprised the parishes and townships of:
The Workhouse was built on the Bangor Road in Conwy.
|Ffestiniog|| The Ffestiniog Poor Law Union was created on 8 May 1837 and comprised the parishes and townships of:
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.
|Llanrwst|| The Llanrwst Union was created on 3 April 1837 and comprised the parishes and townships of:
The records of the Llanrwst Union are held at Denbighshire Record Office in Ruthin.
|Pwllheli|| The Pwllheli Poor Law Union was created on 3 June, 1837 and comprised the parishes and townships of:
Aberdaron, Abererch, Bodferin, Bodvean, Botwnog, Bryncroes, Carngiwch, Ceidio, Criccieth, Denio, Edeyrn, Llanaelhaiarn, Llanarmon, Llanbedrog, Llandegwnig, Llandudwen, Llanengan, Llanfaelrhys, Llanfihangel Bachellaeth, Llangian, Llangwnadle, Llangybi, Llaniestyn, Llannor, Llanystymdwy, Mylltyrn, Nefyn, Penllech, Penrhos, Pistill, Rhiw, Tydweiliog.
The Workshouse was built at Llain Gam in Pwllheli.
- Workhouses (National Library)
- Poor Law Administration (National Library)
- Llanfyllin Workhouse restoration (BBC Wales)