What was its Layout?

By Averil Staunton

The rectangular workhouse site was designed in what was accepted as Domestic Gothic style and was a handsome addition to the town. Its gabled roofs and elevated chimney and air shafts gave it a pleasing and picturesque appearance, with the diamond-shaped panes of glass of its windows reflecting in the sunshine. However, the interior was another matter. The walls were of rough stone, frequently whitewashed to look clean but also acted as a disinfectant. The stairs were of cut stone which were to last over 80 years. Many of the steps would have a central worn furrow from the many who trod up and down over the years to the call of bells.
It consisted of three main blocks, together with other smaller buildings and must have been overwhelming to the unfortunate people when first seen by them.
A fever hospital for 80 people and sheds for 300 were later added during famine times.


Course: Remembering our Heritage – Ballinrobe Workhouse

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