Portumna Workhouse opened in 1852 following the end of the Great Famine and has, over the years, had a number of uses. Bord na Móna occupied part of the complex from 1951 onwards, while the Bord of Works/OPW also had office space and storage at the workhouse site. The county council also had its local office here, in addition to storage space and a depot. Today, the Irish Workhouse Centre is a conservation and redevelopment work in progress. Visitors interested in this aspect can see work first-hand and find out more about restoring and re-using old stone buildings.
The complex comprises a relatively intact and large mid-nineteenth-century Poor Law Union workhouse, built to the designs of the Poor Law Commissioners' architect, George Wilkinson. The austere architectural design was indicative of the likely future in store for the people who entered the workhouse. The complex retains much of its original fabric and materials. The survival of significant interior features in the accommodation blocks lends this workhouse particular importance.
Architect: George Wilkinson
Access: 10am to 4pm on Saturday September 30 2017, with tours on the hour.
Eircode: H53 EK82
This is a free tour available on a first come, first served basis.