The Bawnboy Poor Law Union was officially declared in 1850. The Workhouse was opened in 1852 at a cost of £5,845. It was built to house a maximum capacity of 500 inmates. The Bawnboy Workhouse was built to accomodate people from the areas of Ballinamore, Ballyconnell, Ballymagauran, Bawnboy, Benbrack, Bilberry, Carn, Cloverhill, Corrola, Diamond, Doogary, Drumreilly, Garadice, Greaghglass, Killygar, Kinawley, Lissanover, Newtowngore, Oughteragh, Pedara, Vohners, Stralongford, Swanlinbar, Templeport, and Tircahan in the counties of Cavan and Leitrim.
In 2010 a committee was formed to ensure the preservation of the Bawnboy Workhouse buildings. For more information on the committee and the buildings as they stand today, see here.