The workhouse tour brings the story of the workhouse to life.

The location, shape, and construction of the buildings all point to a particular view of how the poor should be treated. What was that worldview and how was it allowed to continue for so many years? The staff expertly used the building’s layout to exert control and instill discipline, but who really managed the workhouse, the Master or the Board of Guardians? 

The various artefacts in the Workhouse Museum can also be used to tell a story, offering a tantalizing glimpse into life in the workhouse at that time. 

We can cater our tour to suit any school group. Please contact us if you would like to organise a visit. 

National Schools

The workhouse building itself is our most valuable artefact. By looking at the building we can find out more about how people lived, how they moved through the various rooms, what work they did, where they slept, and how they spent their time in the yards. During their tour, students will learn about life in the past and follow in the footsteps of a workhouse pauper.

Secondary Schools

Life was very difficult in the workhouse, especially for children who were separated from their parents. Examine our museum artefacts to learn more about workhouse paupers and the workings of Portumna Poor Law Union.

Third Level

What type of welfare was afforded the poor and sick in 19th century Ireland?  During your visit, you will learn how and why the workhouse building became an instrument of reform as part of the Poor Law system.