Collection: Our Own Place Photographic Project >> Birr Workhouse [graphic]
|Main Creator:||Gesparo, Michael, photographer|
(See also 3A/13) This large stone building, known also as the Parsonstown Union Workhouse was built in 1842. As an alternative to begging or starvation, even at the cost of what was effectively imprisonment, workhouses were introduced into Ireland under the Poor Relief Act. The numbers who had recourse to them remained steady even after the great preasure of the Famine had subsided. They had not a good reputation and were referred to as "an abomination, a sink of vice and misery". The Catholic Church at the time were stripped of the resources to help them. Birr Workhouse closed in 1921. It was then put to use as a clinic, while other parts were used as small factories. Birr Shoes and The Peerage Brass factories were housed there. The 1851 census shows there were 1,023 females and 647 males in the Workhouse. The burial place for the immates, paupers, as they were so unkindly referred to, were buried in unmarked graves behind the building, and remained so until a caring local lady had a stone erected to their memory. It read simply: Inmates of Birr Union Workhouse 1842 - 1921. Known only to God.
|Published / Created:||
23 Sept 1993
Project sponsored by RTÉ and Fuji Photo Film (Ireland) Ltd.
Film number: 3A ; frame number: 10
Birr Historical Society
Photograph taken 14:15 23 Sept 1993
Physical description: 1 photograph ; 15 x 10cm.
Geographic Coverage: Birr, Co. Offaly, Province of Leinster, Ireland.
|Contained in:||Our Own Place Photographic Project|
|Call Number||View in||Collection|
|OOP_3A/10||NPA Reading Room - Appt. only||Photos|
Reproduction rights owned by the National Library of Ireland.