Ballyshannon Virtual Workhouse

The Ballyshannon workhouse was completed on the 1st October 1842 and its first admissions took place on the 6th May 1843. It cost £5850 with fittings costing £1100 and could accommodate 600 people. It closed on the 1st March 1922. The Workhouse is synonymous with the purported social care system that existed in Ireland prior to Independence, but its role in society has often been overlooked or misunderstood.  By using the plans for workhouses devised by the Poor Law Commissioners Architect George Wilkinson in the 19th century and the conservation report undertaken for Ballyshannon Workhouse, Donegal County Museum and the Donegal Archives Service, Culture Division, Donegal County Council  commissioned Virtual Teic  to create this virtual reconstruction of  Ballyshannon Workhouse as it would have appeared in the early Twentieth Century. This virtual workhouse captures a moment in time when the Workhouse system was still in use prior to the changes which resulted in the aftermath of the Revolutionary Period. This project has been funded by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Community Strand of the 2022 Decade of Centenaries programme as part of the Decade of Centenaries Initiative 2012-2023.

To discover more  about Donegal Workhouses

Donegal County Archives holds almost 1,000 items relating to the eight Workhouses of County Donegal, dating from 1840 to 1923. The archive, known as the Poor Law Union Collection, consists mainly of minutes of the meetings of the Board of Guardians in each Union and Admission and Discharge Registers. There are also statistics, dietary records, correspondence, posters and notices, registers of deaths, a punishment book, dispensary records, a visiting committee register, photographs and accounts. The archives can be viewed by appointment at the Donegal County Archives, 3 Rivers  Centre, Lifford, Co Donegal.  or are available online at

Model Control There is a menu at the bottom of the screen with annotations for navigating through the model, or if you get lost.

Mouse Controls

Hold the left button to pan around, up and down. Scroll wheel to zoom in and out. Hold down scroll wheel and move mouse to move up and down and left to right.