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Miscellanea

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.

Oswestry Por Law Union

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 later civil Registration Districts were generally based on these Poor Law Unions.


Denbighshire

The county of Denbighshire was covered by six Unions:

Union Parishes & Townships
Corwen The Corwen Union was created on 7th January 1837. The Union comprised the parishes and townships of:
  • Merionethshire: Betws Gwerful Goch, Corwen, Gwyddelwern, Llandrillo,  Llanfihangel Glyn Myfyr (part), Llangar, Llansanffraid Glyndydwy.
  • Denbighshire: Bryn Eglwys, Cerrigydrudion, Glyn Traean, Llangollen, Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog, Llandisilio, Llanfihangel Glyn Myfyr (part), Llangwm, Llansanffraid Glyn Ceiriog.

The workhouse was built on London Road, to the east of Corwen, and was opened in 1840. The building is now used as a craft workshop.

The records of the Wrexham Union are held at Denbighshire Record Office in Ruthin.

Ruthin The Ruthin Union was created on 4 February 1837 and comprised the parishes and townships of:
  • Aberwheeler, Clocaenog, Derwen, Efenechtyd, Gyffylliog, Llanarmon, Llanbedr Dyffryn Clwyd, Llandegla, Llandyrnog, Llanelidan, Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd, Llanferres, Llanfwrog, Llangwyfan, Llangynhafal, Llanrhaeadr yng Nghinmeirch, Llanrhydd, Llanychan, Llanynys, Nantglyn, Ruthin.

The workhouse was built in Llanrhydd Street, Ruthin.

The records of the Ruthin Union are held at Denbighshire Record Office in Ruthin.

Wrexham The Wrexham Union was created on 30 March 1837 and covered parts of Denbighshire, Flintshire and Cheshire. The Union comprised the parishes and townships of:
  • Denbighshire: Abenbury Fawr, Acton, Allington, Bersham, Bieston, Borras Hofah, Borras Riffre, Broughton, Brymbo, Burton, Cacca Dutton, Dutton Diffeth, Dutton y Bran, Erbistock, Erddig, Erlas, Eyton, Eclusham Above, Eclusham Below, Gourton, Gwersyllt, Gresford, Llay, Holt, Minera, Ridley, Marchwiel, Pickhill, Royton, Ruabon, Sesswick, Stansty, Sutton, Wrexham Abbott, Wrexham Regis.
  • Flintshire: Abenbury Fechan, Bangor is y Coed (until 30 September 1896),  Hope, Marford & Hoseley, Threapwood, Treuddyn, Worthenbury (until 30 September 1896).
  • Cheshire: Agden (until 1853), Bradley (until 1853), Chidlow (until 1853), Chorlton (until 1853), Church Shocklach (until 1896), Cuddington (until 1853), Malpas (until 1853), Newton by Malpas (until 1853), Oldcastle (until 1853), Overton (until 1853), Shocklach Oviatt (until 1896), Stockton (until 1853), Wigland (until 1853), Wychough (until 1853).

The workhouse was built around 1838 off the Ruthin Road in Croesnewydd, in Bersham parish. The Wrexham Maelor Hospital now stands on the site.

The records of the Wrexham Union are held at Denbighshire Record Office in Ruthin.

Llanrwst The Llanrwst Union was created on 3 April 1837 and comprised the parishes and townships of:
  • Denbighshire: Gapel Garmon, Eglwysbach, Gwytherin, Llandogged, Llangerniew, Pentrefoelas, Yspyty Ifan.
  • Caernarfonshire: Betws y Coed, Dolwyddelan, Llanrhychwyn, Penmachno, Trefriw.

The records of the Llanrwst Union are held at Denbighshire Record Office in Ruthin.

St. Asaph The St. Asaph Union was created on 10 April, 1837. The Union comprised the parishes and townships of:
  • Flintshire: Bodfari (part), Dyserth, Meliden with Prestatyn, Rhuddlan and Rhyl, St. Asaph, Tremeirchion.
  • Denbighshire: Abergele, Betws yn Rhos, Bodfari (part), Cwm, Denbigh, Henllan, Llanddulas, Llanfair Talhaearn, Llansannan, Llanefydd, St. George.

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.

Oswestry In 1791, the Hundred of Oswestry and the border parishes of Chirk and Llansilin were incorporated under a local Act for poor relief. The Incorporation comprised the parishes and townships of:
  • Shropshire: Kinnerley, Knockin, Llanymynech, Llanyblodwell, Oswestry Parish, Oswestry Town and Liberties, Ruyton of the Eleven Towns, St Martins, Selattyn, Soughton (now Sychtyn), West Felton, Whittington.
  • Denbighshire: Chirk, Llansilin.

The Workhouse was built at Morda, near Oswestry.

The records for the Oswestry Union are held at Shropshire Record Office in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England.


Flintshire

The county of Flintshire was covered by five Unions:

Union Parishes & Townships
Ellesmere The Ellesmere Union was created on 14 November 1836. It covered rural parts on both sides of the border and comprised the parishes and townships of:
  • Shropshire: Baschurch, Cockshutt (from 1896), Ellesmere, Hadnal Ease, Hordley, Middle, Great Ness, Little Ness, Pelton, Welsh Hampton.
  • Flintshire: Bangor is y Coed (from 30 September 1896), Bettisfield, Bronington, Halghton, Hanmer, Iscoyd (until 1853), Overton, Penley, Tallarn Green, Tybroughton, Willington, Worthenbury (from 30 September 1896).

The Workhouse was in Haughton, near Ellesmere.

The records for the Ellesmere Union are held at Shropshire Record Office in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England.

Holywell The Holywell Union was created on 30 January 1837 and comprised the parishes and townships of:
  • Nannerch, Caerwys, Cilcen (now Cilcain), Flint, Gwaunysgor, Halkyn, Holywell, Llanasa, Mold, Nerquis (now Nercwys), Newmarket (now Trelawnyd), Northop, Whitford and Ysceifiog.

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 Union was created on 10 April, 1837. The Union comprised the parishes and townships of:
  • Flintshire: Bodfari (part), Dyserth, Meliden with Prestatyn, Rhuddlan and Rhyl, St. Asaph, Tremeirchion.
  • Denbighshire: Abergele, Betws yn Rhos, Bodfari (part), Cwm, Denbigh, Henllan, Llanddulas, Llanfair Talhaearn, Llansannan, Llanefydd, St. George.

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.

Great Boughton
(1837-1871)
The Great Boughton Union was created on 17 May 1837. It covered large parts of Cheshire but also comprised the Welsh parishes and townships of:
  • Flintshire: Buckley, Hawarden, Higher Kinnerton, Saltney, Sealand.

The Workhouse was built in 1857 on Heath Lane in Tarvin. This later became a care-home for the elderly.

On 1 February 1853, the Flintshire districts (together with some Cheshire districts) were transferred to the newly created Hawarden Union (see below).

The records for the Great Boughton Union are held at Cheshire Record Office in Chester, Cheshire, England.

Hawarden The Hawarden Union was created on 1 February 1853, formed out of the Great Boughton Union (see above). The Union included the parishes and townships of:
  • Flintshire: Hawarden, Higher Kinnerton, Saltney.
  • Cheshire: Dodleston (1853-1871), Eaton (1853-1871), Eccleston (1853-1871), Lower Kinnerton (1853-1871), Marlston with Leach (1853-1871), Poulton (1853-1871), Pulford (1853-1871), Great Saughall (1853-1871), Little Saughall (1853-1871), Shotwick (1853-1871), Shotwick Park (1853-1871), Woodbank (1853-1871).

The Workhouse was built about 1854 in Broughton. The building eventually became the Broughton Hospital, which finally closed in 1994. A housing estate has since been built on the site.

The records for the Hawarden Union are held at Flintshire Record Office in Hawarden.

 

St. Asaph Workhouse

The former St. Asaph Workhouse

 

Sources:


Diweddarwyd y tudalen ddiwethaf 1af Awst 2014 - This page was last revised 1st August 2014
Hawlffraint © 2014 Cymdeithas Hanes Teuluoedd Clwyd - Copyright © 2014 Clwyd Family History Society

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