Cardiganshire 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 Cardiganshire was covered by five Unions:
|Union||Parishes & Townships|
|Aberaeron||Cilcennin, Cilie-Aeron, Dihewid, Henfynyw, Llanarth, Llanbadarntrefeglwys, Llanddewiaberarth, Llandisiliogogo, Llanerchayron, Llanfihangelystrad, Llanina, Cydplwyf, Llansaintffraid|