Designed as an alternative to transportation, the Richmond General Penitentiary was part of an experiment into a penitentiary system which also involved Millbank Penitentiary, London. They were the first prisons in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland to specialise in reform rather than punishment. In 1897 ownership of the building was transferred to the Richmond District Lunatic Asylum and it was thereafter referred to as the “annexe” and used to house patients and for administrative functions. The forbidding frontage which consisted of one central block featuring a clock-tower with two wings either side originally extended 700 feet along Grangegorman Lane. Richmond District Lunatic Asylum eventually became St. Brendan’s Hospital and the former gaol building awaits a new use as part of the Grangegorman campus for the Dublin Institute of Technology.