BoyleCounty Roscommon

Boyle workhouse location and layout (no longer extant)

Boyle Poor Law Union was formally declared on 20 August 1839. The workhouse was erected in 1840-41 on a six-acre site at the south of Boyle. It was declared fit for the reception of paupers on 6th December 1841. It opened the week of 20 December and received its first admissions on 31st December 1841.

Areas served

Boyle PLU covered an area of 283 square miles and 16 electoral divisions as listed below:

Co. Sligo and Co. Roscommon: Ardcarn, Ballinameen, Boyle, Breedoge, Croghan (Estersnow, Killukin + 1 townland from Killummod), Keadue, Rockingham, Shankill.

Co. Sligo: Ballinafad, Kilmactrany, Kilshaloy, Shancough, Toomour.

Co. Sligo and Co. Mayo: Coolavin, Kilfree, Kilturid.​


Workhouse accomodation

The building, designed by the Poor Law Commissioners' architect George Wilkinson, was to accommodate 700 inmates.

An entrance and administrative block at the east contained a porter's room and waiting room at the centre. The board room on the first floor above served 25 Guardians who met there every Saturday at noon. This block was later extended at each side for children's accommodation and school-rooms.

The main accommodation block had the Master's quarters at the centre, with male and female wings to each side. At the rear was a range of single-storey utility rooms such as bakehouse and washhouse with the infirmary and idiots' wards in a separate block at the west.

> The workhouse buildings are no longer extant. However, old photos and an excellent 3D rendering had been created on


The Great Famine 1845-51

During the famine in the mid-1840s, sheds were erected to accommodate additional inmates. The idiot wards were extended to accommodate fever patients and a 44-bed fever hospital was erected at the south-west of the site. A burial ground was situated nearby.

A memorial (erected 1910) dedicated to workhouse inmates buried there, can be found in the old burial grounds Plunkett Avenue.


Workhouse Records

> Records for this workhouse do not exist in any known archive.


UK Institutions: Boyle Workhouse UK VIEW SOURCE
Boyle Workhouse Graveyard Ireland VIEW SOURCE
Boyle Workhouse: 3D tour and photos Ireland VIEW SOURCE
Boyle Workhouse Famine Report 1846 Ireland VIEW SOURCE
Boyle PLU: Earl Grey Famine Orphans Australia VIEW SOURCE
Boyle Workhouse: by Barry Feely Ireland VIEW SOURCE


  • Please visit and watch the video of a virtual fly-over of Boyle Workhouse. It is an ongoing project and the video will be updated as the 3d Virtual world is being developed. This is the very first time such a 3D Virtulal World has been created of a Workhouse anywhere in the world as far as I am aware.

    Dave Derby

    Sunday 3rd March 2019, 08:24AM

Communities Associated with this Building