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Powys County Archives Office
Rhayader Poor Law Union records

Reference code(s): GB 0223 R/G/C

Held at: Powys County Archives Office

Title: Rhayader Poor Law Union Records

Short Title: Rhayader Poor Law Union records

Creation date(s): 1836-1948

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 0.18 cubic metres (9 boxes)

Name of creator(s): Rhayader Poor Law Union; Radnorshire County Council


Administrative/Biographical history: Until the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834, relief of the poor was the responsibility of the parish. Following the Act, parishes were grouped into Unions that were charged to provide a workhouse for the relief of the able-bodied poor. Rhayader Poor Law Union was formed in 1836 and operated in constituent parishes of Abbey Cwmhir, Cefnllys Rural, Llanbadarn Fawr, Llanfihangel-helygen, Llansainffraid-Cwmdeuddwr, Llanyre, Nantmel, Rhayader and St Harmon in Radnorshire, and Llanwrthwl in Brecknockshire. The Union workhouse was situated in Rhayader and built in 1838. A new building was constructed in 1870. The Board of Guardians responsible for the Union had other duties from time to time, including the registration of births, marriages and deaths, vaccinations, assessments of rates, sanitation, school attendance and infant life protection. By the time of the Local Government Act 1929, Unions were abolished and their duties transferred to County Councils, with responsibility for the poor being transferred to Radnorshire County Council's Public Assistance Committee until 1948. Rhayader Rural Sanitary Authority was created under the Public Health Act 1872 to deal with sewerage, drainage, and water supply. Sanitary Authorities were based on the existing Poor Law Union areas and were administered by the Board of Guardians of the Poor. The Authority's powers were transferred to the Rhayader Rural District Council in 1894.


Scope and content/abstract: Records of Rhayader Poor Law Union and Public Assistance Committee, 1836-1948, including Clerk to the Guardians' records, consisting of minute books, 1836-1920; ledgers, 1902-1930; Relieving Officer's records, 1914-1948; Collector's records, 1918-1941; Vaccination Officer's reports, 1872-1947; and Rhayader Rural Sanitary Authority minute books, 1872-1898.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement: Arranged into the following: Clerk to the Guardians; Relieving Officer; Collector of the Guardians; Non-Poor Law duties; and Rural Sanitary Authority.

Conditions governing access: Powys Archive Office restrictions, relating to data protection, apply

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright regulations apply.

Finding aids: A hard copy is available at the Powys County Archives Service.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records deposited at Powys County Archives Service have been retained.

Accruals: Accruals are not expected

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition: Source not recorded



Note: Title supplied from contents of fonds

Archivist's note: Compiled by Richard Burman for the ANW project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Powys County Archives Service, Board of Guardians, Rhayader Union, catalogue; The History of Poor Law website (, viewed 17 February 2005.

Rules or conventions: This description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) second edition, AACR2, and LCSH

Date(s) of descriptions: February 2005

Poor laws | Wales | Powys | Administration
Public health | Wales | Powys
Public welfare | Wales | Powys
Rhayader Poor Law Union | Archives
Sanitation | Wales | Powys

Personal names

Corporate names
Radnorshire (Wales) | County Council
Rhayader Poor Law Union

Llanwrthwl (Wales)
Powys (Wales)
Rhayader (Wales : town)

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