Originally designed as three separate ranges spectactularly sited overlooking the river Lee. Constructed between 1847 and 1852, the ranges were linked by low arcades which also linked a chapel and refectory hall set behind the main buildings. These were arranged so that the gable of the hall and spire of the chapel were visible from the front. The whole ensemble had six staircase towers and numerous gables. In 1861 Atkins was forced to link the main blocks to provide more accommodation – but giving the building an almost unending facade in the process.