In 1773 the Limerick county and city Grand Juries came together with a budget of 500 pounds to build a poorhouse on land donated by the local Bishop. The building opened in 1774 to the designs of a local minister, the Rev. Deane Hoare. It was a large square with sixteen large rooms, and an infirmary in the garden, and “and a number of cells for lunatics.” The establshment was initially intended to accommodate 200 inmates although this later increased to 380. In 1823, a wing was added to accommodate seventy infirm women and two work-rooms for spinners and weavers. It was replaced by a new workhouse in 1847.