The new Clones Union Workhouse was erected on a six-acre site at the south of Clones. Designed by the Poor Law Commissioners’ architect George Wilkinson, the building was based on one of his standard plans to accommodate 600 inmates. Its construction cost £5,750 plus £1,207 for fittings etc. The workhouse was declared fit for the reception of paupers on 15th November 1842 and admitted its first inmates on 23rd February 1843.
The buildings followed Wilkinson’s typical layout. An entrance and administrative block at the east contained a porter’s room and waiting room at the centre with the Guardians’ board room on the first floor above.
The main accommodation block had the master’s quarters at the centre, with male and female wings to each side. At the rear, a range of single-storey utility rooms such as a bake-house and wash-house connected through to the infirmary and wards via a central spine containing the chapel and dining-hall.
During the famine in the mid-1840s, houses were hired to accommodate an additional 220 inmates. A fever hospital was also erected at the north of the infirmary block.