The Callan Poor Law Union was officially declared in 1839. The Workhouse was opened in 1842 at a cost of £6,640. It was built to house a maximum capacity of 600 inmates. The Callan Workhouse was built to accomodate people from the areas of Burnchurch, Callan, Donemaggin, Grove, Kells, Killamurry, Kilmaganny, Kilmanagh, and Knoctopher in Co. Kilkenny, and Ballingarry, Lismolin, and Mullinahone in Co. Tipperary.
The Callan Workhouse was closed in the 1920s after the formation of the Irish Free State.
The site of the Callan Workhouse has been repurposed in a number of different ways, as a knitting factory, set of offices, and a depot for the county council. There are some of the original buildings of the Callan Workhouse still standing today.
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