Ancestry UK

Urlingford, Co. Kilkenny

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Urlingford was one of the set of new Poor Law Unions created in Ireland between 1848 and 1850. Urlingford Union formally came into existence on 7th June 1850. It was created from the western part of the Kilkenny Union and occupied an area of 121 square miles. The population falling within the Urlingford Union at the 1901 census had been 8,657. In 1905, it comprised the following electoral divisions:

Co. Kilkenny: Balleen, Ballyconra, Baunmore, Clonmantagh, Galmoy, Glashare, Johnstown, Lisdowney, Rathbeagh, Tubbridbritain, Urlingford.
Co. Tipperary: Buolick, Fennor, Kilcooly, New Birmingham, Poyntstown.

The Guardians met on alternate Thursdays.

The new Urlingford Union workhouse was erected in 1852-3 on a 12-acre site at the north-east of Urlingford. Designed by the Poor Law Commissioners' architect George Wilkinson, the building accommodated 500 inmates. Its construction cost £5,300 plus £1,200 for fittings etc. The site location and layout are shown on the 1910 OS map below.

Urlingford workhouse site, 1910.

The layout was somewhat different to Wilkinson's earlier designs, and was a similar size and design to the workhouse at Castlecomer which was built at around the same time. The front of the site at the east had central entrance, probably with an archway, flanked by two two-storey blocks.

To the rear, the main buildings had a T-shaped layout. The wing to the east probably originally contained the dining-hall and kitchens. The two main accommodation wings, one for men and one for women, were three storeys high.

The former workhouse site is now occupied by housing.

Urlingford former workhouse site from the south, 2002
© Peter Higginbotham.


Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.

  • Kilkenny County Library, 6 John's Quay, Kilkenny, Co. Kilkenny. Holdings include: Guardians' minutes (1852-1922, with gaps); Letters from Poor Law Commissioners (1851-1862).


  • The Workhouses of Ireland by John O'Connor (Anvil Books, 1995)


  • None.

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