The site that was renamed Greenmount in the 1870s was originally called Gallows Green. It was made available in 1852 at a rent of 30 shillings a year for 500 years to the Bishop of Cork, Dr William Delaney and other Catholic Church dignitaries, including Edmund Paul Townsend, one of the Presentation Brothers. On it they built St Patrick’s Orphanage, a residential home for orphaned and abandoned boys, commencing the building in 1858. The Bishop requested the Presentation Brothers to run the orphanage and they took charge of it in 1862. It soon reached its capacity, and had to be extended in 1866 because of the increasing number of boys needing admission.