HM Prison Holloway, London

HMP Holloway was the largest women’s only prison in Europe until its closure in 2016. Rebuilt in the 1970s, the prison’s design was recognised as a failure.

HMP Holloway Prison London
 

HMP Holloway was the largest women’s only prison in Europe until its closure in 2016. Rebuilt between 1971 to 1985, the prison’s design was intended to produce an atmosphere more like a hospital than a prison. This design was recognised as a failure in the 1980s as its lack of traditional wings or landings, and a maze of corridors, means warders had difficulty monitoring inmates.

Entrance to the rebuilt prison (CC Licence)​

Entrance to the rebuilt prison (CC Licence)​

The history of Holloway dates back to 1852 when the original prison opened as a mixed-sex establishment, but due to the increasing demand for space for female prisoners, it became female-only in 1903. Inmates of the original prison included Oscar Wilde, and more recently Moors murderess Myra Hindley from 1966.

The original Holloway Prison (public domain image)​

Holding female adults and young offenders either sentenced by the courts or being held on remand, the prison consisted mostly of single cells, but there was also various dormitory accommodation. In January 2016 an inquest into the death of Sarah Reed, a paranoid schizophrenic being held on remand, identified failings in the care system. The prison was closed in July 2016, with plans for it to be sold for housing.

Holloway Prison - Wandering between the modern buildings within the prison grounds

Holloway Prison – Wandering between the modern buildings within the prison grounds

Let’s head straight into the cells…

Holloway Prison - Dorm room

Holloway Prison – Dorm room

Holloway Prison - Single prisoner cell

Holloway Prison – Single prisoner cell

Holloway Prison - Another dorm room

Holloway Prison – Another dorm room

Holloway Prison - Mural in one of the many winding corridors

Holloway Prison – Mural in one of the many winding corridors

Holloway Prison - Twin room

Holloway Prison – Twin room

Holloway Prison - Lots of peely paint in some places

Holloway Prison – Lots of peely paint in some places

Holloway Prison -There were several styles of cell

Holloway Prison -There were several styles of cell

Holloway Prison -Bars and gates inside the prison

Holloway Prison -Bars and gates inside the prison

Entrance into the prison…

Prisoner transport vehicles would park inside this area, and the gates closed behind them

Holloway Prison - Prisoner unloading area

Holloway Prison – Prisoner unloading area

Holloway Prison - The front entrance leads into this area, with a command room behind the glass

Holloway Prison – The front entrance leads into this area, with a command room behind the glass

Holloway Prison - Corridors lead into the prison

Holloway Prison – Corridors lead into the prison

Holloway Prison - Each area separated by iron gates

Holloway Prison – Each area separated by iron gates

Prisoner amenities and facilities

Holloway Prison - Entrance into the "family friendly" visitor centre.

Holloway Prison – Entrance into the “family friendly” visitor centre.

Holloway Prison - Visitors and prisoners could be kept separated in these divided rooms

Holloway Prison – Visitors and prisoners could be kept separated in these divided rooms

Holloway Prison - The prison had a swimming pool for prisoners to use

Holloway Prison – The prison had a swimming pool for prisoners to use

Holloway Prison - And gym facilities

Holloway Prison – And gym facilities

Holloway Prison - The glazed walkway was decorated by inmates

Holloway Prison – The glazed walkway was decorated by inmates

Holloway Prison - The prison had a medical ward, including its own opticians

Holloway Prison – The prison had a medical ward, including its own opticians

Holloway Prison - Pharmacy

Holloway Prison – Pharmacy

Holloway Prison - Covered walkway leading to the chapel. Note the high-security walls

Holloway Prison – Covered walkway leading to the chapel. Note the high-security walls

Holloway Prison - The chapel was large but pretty basic

Holloway Prison – The chapel was large but pretty basic

Holloway Prison - Inmate artwork on a staircase

Holloway Prison – Inmate artwork on a staircase

Holloway Prison - Mural inside one of the rooms

Holloway Prison – Mural inside one of the rooms

Holloway Prison - A room for presentations

Holloway Prison – A room for presentations

Holloway Prison - The prison's boiler house

Holloway Prison – The prison’s boiler house

Holloway Prison - Exterior of the buildings within the prison walls

Holloway Prison – Exterior of the buildings within the prison walls

Holloway Prison - High fences divided the exterior areas​

Holloway Prison – High fences divided the exterior areas​





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