Donaghmore Workhouse

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Donaghmore Workhouse


Project Value

Floor Area

Completed 2014

Ballyhegadon Glebe
Co. Laois


Donaghmore Workhouse, is located on the R435 between Rathdowney & Borris-in-Ossory, Co. Laois and which is a Protected Structure,  constructed to a generic plan prepared by Architect George Williamson. In the mid 1800’s the Dining Hall is located at the centre of the complex with dormitory wings at either side, and was also used as a Chapel Building.

The Dining Hall is a stand-alone building and previous owners made many inappropriate additions and interventions.  

In the first instance MCOH Architects were commissioned by Laois County Council and Donaghmore Famine Workhouse & Agricultural Museum Co-Op to prepare a Feasibility Study on the possible restoration and refurbishment of the Dining Hall Building. The Feasibility Study also included a section on suggested future uses for the Building. 

On foot of the Feasibility Study the Clients sought funding from Leader for the Restoration and Conservation Works and were successful.  Following a Tender Process MCOH Architects were appointed to Design, Procure and Inspect the Restoration & Conservation. The Project commenced in October 2013 and was completed in May 2014.

The Building is now used for various events including Community gatherings, Concerts and Receptions. The building has been restored to its high architectural quality using best conservation practice and is a positive and innovative use of a derelict building. It has been highly insulated where possible and has a combination of sustainable under floor heating and space electrical heating. The damp ingress to the building has been addressed resulting in a low maintenance and robust structure.


Donaghmore Workhouse