Tulla Workhouse (ruin)

TullaCounty Clare

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Aerial view of Tulla Workhouse field taken in 1965

Tulla Workhouse was built in 1851 to accommodate the growing number of poor and destitute in the Tulla Union which had been officially granted in 1850.  The Tulla Union comprised the following parts of the civil parishes:  Quin, Clooney, Inchicronan, Kilfinaghta, Feakle, Killuran, Kilnoe, Clonlea, Kilmurry, and Tulla.  Today, these civil parishes comprise the Roman Catholic parishes of O'Callaghan's Mills, Kilkishen, Feakle,Clooney/Quin, Tulla, Kilmurry and Crusheen.  The workhouse was built to accommodate 500 persons, but within several months of opening, it was already overcrowded.  After the Famine, the Workhouse continued to operate to assist the poor, disabled and it continued its work as a local hospital where people were often treated for illness. 

The Workhouse operated under financial strain for many years due to the number of absentee landlords who refused to pay rates, as well as those landlords who were unable to pay rates due to their tenants being unable to pay rents.  The Workhouse was finally closed down in 1908 whereby patients were transferred to Scariff Workhouse.  It later became the British Headquarters during the War of Independence.  Multiple uses were discussed for the building once the British Army left in 1922, however due to the deteriorating condition that it had fallen into as a result of the British Army's stay and its vacancy afterwards, the building lay idle for many years.  In the 1950s, parts of the structure were demolished and the stones were used to pave the roads in the local area.  It is said that when this was done, many old bones from the digging of the roads around the Workhouse were discovered.  These bones were those of adults and children. 

Today the Workhouse field lays idle.  It is occupied by local farmers, and is used for agricultural purposes.  The walls are still in existence and the pier inside the field can still be seen.

Further reading of Workhouses in Ireland:



Workhouse Website UK VIEW SOURCE

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Communities Associated with this Building