This stands as a testament to the Famine of 1845-8. Built in Tudor Gothic, a style often used for Alms houses, they were built across Ireland
to a standard plan on the eve of the disaster. Designed to be refuges of last resort, they had a deliberately harsh regime with families split into different wings on entering. Though the worst of the effects took place in the rural area- particularly in Donegal or beyond Glenshane, where farms were smaller and more dependent on potatoes, the city and its workhouse would have seen many arrivals in search of assistance, work, or emigration, and was hard hit by the Cholera epidemic which followed afterwards.