Pontardawe Union Board of Guardians Records

Scope and Content

Records of Pontardawe Poor Law Union and successor bodies, 1875-1988, including minutes, 1875-1936; financial records, 1875-1958; inmate registers and records, 1902-1979; workhouse administration records, 1901-1953; valuation lists, 1898-1927; photographs, c.1880-1988; Pontardawe Union Rural Sanitary Authority records, 1883-1898.

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. Pontardawe Poor Law Union was formed in 1875 from the parishes that formed the north-west part of the Neath Poor Law Union, consisting of Cilybebyll, Llangiwg, Mawr, Rhyndwyglydach, Ynysymwn, Ystradgynlais Higher and Ystradgynlais Lower in Glamorgan. The Union workhouse was situated in Pontardawe and was opened in 1879. 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 the Public Assistance Committee until 1948. The workhouse became Pontardawe Public Assistance Institution in 1930 when the functions of the Poor Law Union were transferred to the Glamorgan County Council. In 1948, it became the Danybryn Hostel which finally closed in 1988. The building was demolished shortly afterwards and sheltered housing now occupies the site.

Arrangement

Arranged into the following: Pontardawe Board of Guardians minute books; Registers; Financial records; Valuation lists; Miscellaneous; Pontardawe Union Rural Sanitary Authority; Pontardawe Union/County Council Public Assistance Committee/County Council Welfare Service Committee.

Conditions Governing Access

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

Acquisition Information

It is the policy of the West Glamorgan Archive Service to withhold the names of depositors.

Note

Compiled by Richard Burman for the ANW project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: West Glamorgan Archive Service, Pontardawe Poor Law Union Board of Guardians, catalogue; The History of Poor Law website (http://users.ox.ac.uk/~peter/workhouse/unions.html), viewed 31 October 2005.

Other Finding Aids

A hard copy is available at the West Glamorgan Archive Service.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright regulations apply.

Appraisal Information

Information not available

Accruals

Accruals are not expected

Geographical Names