Swansea Union Board of Guardians Records

Scope and Content

Records of Swansea Poor Law Union and successor bodies, 1842-1960, including minutes, 1849-1948; correspondence, 1859-1869; Master's records, 1842-1948; Chaplain's books, 1854-1888; workhouse administration records, 1836-1948; financial records, 1866-1950; inmate registers and records, 1858-1954; valuation lists, 1863-1931; Cockett Cottage Homes records, 1878-1950; County Borough of Swansea Social Welfare and Public Assistance Departments records, 1941-1948; Workshops for the Blind records, 1940-1960; Swansea Rural Sanitary Authority records, 1874-1901; plans of public assistance institutions, 1860-1939

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. Swansea Poor Law Union was formed in 1836 and operated in the parishes of Bishopston, Cheriton, Clase, Ilston, Knelston, Llanddewi, Llandeilo Tal-y-bont, Llangennith, Llanmadoc, Llanrhidian Higher, Llanrhidian Lower, Mawr, Nicholaston, Oxwich, Oystermouth, Penmaen, Pennard, Penderi, Penrice, Port Eynon, Reynoldston, Rhossili, Rhyndwyglydach and Swansea, in Glamorgan. The Union workhouse was situated in Mount Pleasant, Swansea and was built in 1861-1862, replacing a workhouse that had been built in 18th century. 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. In 1857 the parishes on the Gower peninsula were formed into the Gower Poor Law Union. In 1877 the union erected ten cottage homes for children in Cockett. 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 the Public Assistance Committee until 1948. The workhouse later became known as Tawe Lodge, and then as Mount Pleasant Hospital. After its closure in 1995, the site was used a student accommodation.


Arranged into the following: Minute books; Workhouse records; Valuation lists; Cottage homes, Cockett; Swansea workhouse registers; County Borough of Swansea Public Assistance Committee; Miscellaneous; County Borough of Swansea Social Welfare and Public Assistance Committees; Workshops for the blind; Swansea Rural Sanitary Authority; Plans of public assistance institutions

Access Information

Items under 100 years old containing information on named individuals may be restricted in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

Other Finding Aids

A hard copy is available at the West Glamorgan Archive Service

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright regulations apply.

Appraisal Information

All records received by the West Glamorgan Archive Service have been retained


Accruals are not expected.

Related Material

Records of Pontardawe Poor Law Union are West Glamorgan Archive Service, U/Pd.