Dormitories at either end of Main Building.

By Averil Staunton

The elderly slept on wooden beds on the lower floor of the 3 storey wings; men in the right wing, women to the left. There was to be no mixing of the sexes within the workhouse!

The dormitories were locked at night and large pots at either end catered for relieving oneself. These were often full and emptied in the morning into the cess pits by drawing excess with smaller buckets.

The lower floor beds could be clipped up against the wall if the rooms were required for work during the day. Fit and agile paupers slept on straw mattresses on wooden sleeping platform in the upper floors.

Overdrawing from George Wilkinson’s drawing of sleeping platforms, 6th Annual Poor Law Report 1840.


Course: Remembering our Heritage – Ballinrobe Workhouse

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