Padded Cell – Royal Hospital Haslar G-Block, Gosport, UK

A rare example of a padded cell still in situ. This Pocock Brother’s padded cell is in the Royal Hospital Haslar, a Naval hospital in Gosport.

Royal Hospital Haslar Padded Cell
 

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Padded cells are few and far between now-a-days, so the opportunity to visit one doesn’t present itself very often. So rare in fact, that I should imagine this will be the only padded cell I ever get the opportunity to visit, in situ and outside of a museum.

It’s a long way to Gosport from where we live up north, however looking back I don’t even know why I was in two minds about visiting. I should have jumped at the chance instantly – but 12 hours of travelling in total for a single, small room seemed ludicrous! It still does, to be honest, but once-in-a-lifetime opportunities have to be taken and I’m so glad we took this one!

Haslar Padded Cell - G-Block External
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Haslar Padded Cell – G-Block External

The padded cell is inside the ‘G Block’ at the Royal Hospital Haslar – a disused naval hospital on the south coast of England. The hospital is huge and is by far the most impressive hospital I have visited, and I’ve made the journey down south to visit on a few occasions before. Unfortunately G Block – the psychiatric ward – has always been locked up tight before. See my report about the main hospital here.

G Block was established in 1910 as a purpose-built psychiatric unit and was comprised of 2 wards, each with 12 beds. G-Block served as an assessment centre and sailors requiring longer term treatment were transferred to a psychiatric unit at Great Yarmouth. The padded cell was built by Pocock Brothers, a company who were responsible for the creation of a few other similar padded cells around that time. In practice the cell was rarely used.

Haslar Padded Cell - Back of door
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Haslar Padded Cell – Back of door

Haslar Padded Cell - Looking through the padded doorway into the cell
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Haslar Padded Cell – Looking through the padded doorway into the cell

Haslar Padded Cell - Locked inside the cell
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Haslar Padded Cell – Locked inside the cell

Haslar Padded Cell - Looking up at door
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Haslar Padded Cell – Looking up at door

Haslar Padded Cell - Back of the cell
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Haslar Padded Cell – Back of the cell

Haslar Padded Cell - Wide view showing the padding
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Haslar Padded Cell – Wide view showing the padding

Haslar Padded Cell - Writing on the wall reads "When faith is kneeling by his bed of death"
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Haslar Padded Cell – Writing on the wall reads “When faith is kneeling by his bed of death”

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