The Cavan Poor Law Union was officially declared in 1839. The Workhouse was opened in 1842 at a cost of £12,500. It was built to house a maximum capacity of 1,200 inmates. The Cavan Workhouse was built to accomodate people from the areas of Arvagh, Ballyconnell, Ballyhaise, Ballymachugh, Ballintemple, Belturbet, Butlersbridge, Cavan, Crossdoney, Crosskeys, Denn, Derrylane, Drumlane, Kilconny, Kildallan, Kill, Killashandra, Killycrone, Killykeen, Kilualeck, Newsun, Rehills, and Stradone.
The Cavan Workhouse site is now occupied by a retirement home.