A very eerie place in the fog…
The Dunshaughlin workhouse was erected in 1840-41 on a 2 hectares (4.9 acres) site 2.5 km (1.6 mi) to the south of Dunshaughlin, the building was planned to accommodate 400 inmates. Its construction cost £4,938 plus £912 for fittings etc. The building was declared fit for habitaion on May 12, 1841, and received its first admissions on 17 May.
During the Irish Famine in the mid-1840s, many hundreds of people were crowded into the stone building in dreadful conditions. A burial ground was located to the rear of the workhouse, which you can still visit today, sometimes memorial services are conducted here for those who died during the famine. It is estimated that as many as 1000 people were buried in unmarked graves here, mostly during the famine years.
In the post-famine years, the workhouse rarely had more than a few dozen inmates. During the First World War, the building was used to accommodate Belgian refugees, some of whom died there and were buried in the paupers’ graveyard. In 1920-21, the building was taken over as a barracks by the Black and Tans during the Irish War of Independence.
Following the creation of the Irish Free State in 1922, the workhouse system was abolished. After many years of vacancy and semi dereliction the main building was taken into private ownership in the 1990s and now is primarily a private residence.