Former Red Cross hospital, Machynlleth

PWMP logobutton_lang_welshFormer Red Cross hospital, Machynlleth

A hospital was established here when the Red Cross took over the district’s Workhouse in 1917. Today it’s the site of Bro Ddyfi Community Hospital – please don’t enter or park in the grounds unless you have business at the hospital.

The Workhouse provided accommodation and work for poor people. In May 1873 it housed six men, 15 women and 16 children. The Board of Guardians (which oversaw the Workhouse’s management) received a letter in 1893 from a pauper who claimed that one of the Workhouse officials had accused her of killing four pigs by “bewitching” them!

In spring 1914 the guardians decided to close the Workhouse, once the remaining residents had been moved to institutions in other communities. Soon after the outbreak of war, the Guardians offered the Machynlleth Workhouse to the Red Cross for use as a military hospital.

A Red Cross auxiliary hospital was opened here in August 1917, with beds for 48 soldiers to recuperate from war wounds. The commandant was Mrs Bonsall of Galltyllan, president of the Machynlleth & District Nursing Association. The nurses were local women who had spent three years training. Medics gave their services free.

The hospital was supported by gifts from local people and many fundraising events. Schoolchildren and other residents laid on entertainments for the wounded soldiers. The more able-bodied patients were offered unlimited free billiards games at the Owain Glyndŵr Institute.

In December 1918 patients from the hospital donned fancy dress to parade through the town as part of a “victory carnival” which was mostly held indoors at the town hall.

After the war the Guardians considered converting the old Workhouse into a school but it remained a hospital, eventually becoming a regional centre for treatment of chest ailments. Today it provides rehabilitation, therapy and other services.

Postcode: SY20 8AD    View Location Map

To continue the Machynlleth in WW1 tour, go south along Garth Rd. Turn right into Heol Maengwyn. Cross the road and continue. Next location is the art gallery, after the church on the left
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