Carrickmacross Poor Law Union was founded on November 5 1839. It was responsible for an area of 94 square miles. The workhouse was opened in October 1842 and received its first admissions in February 1843. It was designed by the Poor Law Comissioners architect George Wilkinson to accommodate 500 inmates. Wilkinson was responsible for most of the Irish Workhouses many of which have an identical design. During the famine in the 1847, a fever hospital was erected on a separate site to the south-east of the workhouse.
The 1847 Fever Hospital
Additional accommodation for 249 was provided by constructing sleeping galleries in the workhouse and by hiring two houses. The original administration block was extended westwards in 1851 and ended in a three-storey cross-wing for children's accommodation and a schoolroom.
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