Teach na mBocht Bhéal na mBuillí aka Strokestown Workhouse was set up late into the Great Famine, to relieve severe overcrowding in nearby workhouses. On 22nd February 1850, the following parts part of the Roscommon and Carrick-on-Shannon Unions were transferred to the new Strokestown Union:
Annagmore, Ballygarden, Bumlin, Cloonfinlough, Cloonyquin, Creeve, Cregga, Elia, Elphin, North Kilglass, South Kilglass, Killavackan, Killukin, Lissonuffy, Ogulla, Roosky, Rossmore, Strokestown, Tarmonbarry, Tulsk.
0n 21 March 1850 it was decided that 1,184 inmates of the neighbouring workhouses would fall under the jurisdiction of the new Union. Plans were made to re-house the Strokestown paupers in poorly renovated rented accommodation to avoid the expense of building a workhouse. The minutes of the Strokestown Board of Guardians for the 3rd of May, 1851, recorded that:
The houses of Mr Egan of Strokestown are well suited for an auxiliary house but the inhabitants of the town seem very much against them being taken, not wishing the paupers to be brought into the town for fear of disease.
Female Paupers were housed at Egan's house in Strokestown. Men and boys were housed at a building at Toberpatrick outside the town which had been modified 'to meet the demand which we consider will be of temporary duration'. The sick and infirm were placed on outdoor relief, and the house of Mr Cox at Churchview was fitted up as a Fever hospital.
A workhouse was eventually constructed in 1851-2 on a thirteen-acre site half a mile to the south-west of Strokestown at Cloonslanor. The Strokestown and Castlerea workhouses were closed in 1920, and demolished shortly afterwards.
All that remains of the Strokestown workhouse is 'Bully's Acre' (a prehistoric earthwork which was used as a cemetery). There are no stone markers, save for one memorail cross, dedicated to all who are buried there.
Roscommon County Library, Abbey Street, Roscommon.
- Morahan, Mary Strokestown Poor Law Union 1850-1870 (in County Roscommon Historical and Archaeological Society Journal, Volume 13, 2015)
- O'Connor, John The Workhouses of Ireland (1995, Anvil Books)
|Strokestown Workhouse - a full history
|Places in Strokestown Poor Law Union