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Old Wexford Work House


When out walking this afternoon I strolled in around the old ruined Wexford Work House. What terrible memories must be caught up in those stones and bricks. It was built for the Poor Law Union in 1845 and had a capacity of 600 inmates. At the rear of the main building there is a single storey structure which contained a bake house, a wash house, and, further along, an infirmary, an idiot’s ward, a chapel and a dining hall.

The terrible conditions of the Great Famine had a drastic effect all across Ireland. From 1grave marker845 to 1852 the population dropped by 25%, a million died from starvation and disease, and a further million emigrated. In the late 40s many orphan girls were sent to Australia from Wexford Work House. Many of those whose sole refuge from the famine was the workhouse would only leave it to be taken for burial in mass graves in the paupers’ graveyard which still remains with its solitary memorial cross.

Parts of it remained in operation until 1992 when the new Wexford General Hospital was opened.


Wow, that looks bleak!
Typical Speenhamland workhouse- very nasty indeed.

Someone thought the poor and destitute worthy of a memorial, which is more than some of my Latvian Jewish ancestors got :o(

Unfortunately the memorial in the paupers' graveyard is a single celtic cross of fairly recent origin. Some stones are found here and there. Each year a memorial service is celebrated by both church and state.
True...I suspect this sort of sadness appeared in many places in the world...
I think it was particularly horrible in Ireland at that time.
That building sounds like it has a fascinating and painful history.