The Bawnboy workhouse, often referred to in the old days as the poorhouse, is the subject of this week’s Thursday Doors. You can see a glimpse of it in the first photo and it’s one of the largest workhouses that I’ve come across so far. The next few images will show how big it is.
Would you like to see inside? Unfortunately, there wasn’t any public access but there was an information board at the entrance, displaying some interior images.
The workhouse is a cut-stone structure which was built in 1852 and the funding for it came from rates paid by land and property owners. The diet was very limited and strict rules were enforced. It was a last resort for anyone to enter the poorhouse, as couples were separated and even children found themselves apart from their mothers and fathers. In 1920 the boys school room became a dance hall and was used for concerts, meetings and for Irish dance classes. In later years it was used for indoor sports, such as basketball and volleyball. In 1933 a vocational school was also in operation in the Bawnboy workhouse.
For next week’s blogpost I have more images from Bawnboy Workhouse and a wee bit more history, too. If you travel over to Norm’s blog you’ll find lots of lovely Thursday Doors to view, with links to even more in the comments at the end of his post.