In 1810, the Governors of the House Industry were instructed by the Lord Lieutenant to purchase land for the construction of a penitentiary. They obtained a three half acre site from Lord Monck in Grangegorman which was at that time planted with apple and pear trees. They were assigned the task of overseeing the building of the institution that would be known as the Richmond General Penitentiary. The architect appointed was Francis Johnston. The building was completed in 1816.It received its first prisoners in 1820.