Royal Naval Hospital Haslar, Gosport, UK

The Royal Hospital Haslar was the largest hospital in England. It had a long and distinguished history serving military personnel, and later civilians. The site closed in 2009.

Royal Naval Hospital Haslar aka Serenity Hospital
 

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History of Royal Hospital Haslar, Gosport

For over 250 years the Royal Hospital Haslar provided medical services to the Royal Navy. The hospital had a long and distinguished service, and more recently provided treatment for all three military services and to civilians.

Planning for the hospital commenced in 1745 to be the first of three hospitals providing medical treatment to Sailors of the Fleet. Building of the hospital took 16 years and was completed in 1762, however the fourth side was not completed due to over-expenditure. When it opened, Haslar Hospital was the largest hospital, and the largest brick building in England.

Royal Hospital Haslar - Front elevation and plan

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Royal Hospital Haslar – Front elevation and plan

As Haslar developed it didn’t take long until it started to resemble a prison more than a hospital. It was not uncommon for sailors to feign illness in order to be brought back to land from where they could escape. Extensive security measures were put in place and Haslar became known as an impenetrable fortress. The distinctive brick wall surrounding the site remains to this day, and was there to keep the sailors inside!

Development and expansion over the years ensured Haslar could stay at the forefront of care, and was always held in high regard. The many wars through the 20th century saw Haslar grow in terms of professionalism and technical ability while treating many casualties.

In 1966 Haslar became the core of the Tri-Services hospitals. The hospital was opened up to use by the NHS in later years, after military services were transferred to other hospitals. The site was closed and sold to developers in 2009.

Further History
A full history of Royal Hospital Haslar has been put together by the Haslar Heritage Group and can be found on their website.
Royal Haslar Hospital - External view of the main building

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Royal Haslar Hospital – External view of the main building

Our Visits
My first visit to Haslar Hospital was in July 2013. After the long drive down the to South of England we make our way into the grounds of the abandoned hospital so quiet and tranquil others had named it Serenity Hospital. The beautiful and majestic buildings are heavily guarded, however. We make it passed the security fencing and razor wire, and the scale of the place hits us. It’s huge! We make our way through the darkness and start looking for an entry point into the buildings. Not a soul around, and not a single broken window to be found. We eventually find an entry point and make our way in.

What we find leaves us in awe! There is some serious equipment left over. MRI scanners, X-ray machines, science laboratories, entire wards left fully in tact! Such a fun explore with Cowboy55, Kriegaffe9 and Mr T.

Roll forward to September 2014 and I find myself heading back down to Haslar with Proj3ct M4yh3m and Spider Monkey for a long awaited revisit. This was another enjoyable visit which even included a nice sleep on the amazingly comfortable ward beds!

 

Royal Haslar Hospital - Ward full of beds

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Ward full of beds

The ward was used as a set for filming of the popular TV medical drama Holby City

Royal Haslar Hospital - Ward Beds

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Ward Beds

Royal Haslar Hospital - Bed detail

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Bed detail

Royal Haslar Hospital - A row of beds in a hospital ward

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Royal Haslar Hospital – A row of beds in a hospital ward

Royal Haslar Hospital - Hospital ward

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Hospital ward

Royal Haslar Hospital - Large staircase

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Large staircase

Royal Haslar Hospital - An empty ward

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Royal Haslar Hospital – An empty ward

Royal Haslar Hospital - Empty room

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Empty room

Royal Haslar Hospital - Saline drip bag

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Saline drip bag

Royal Haslar Hospital - Waiting area

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Waiting area

Royal Haslar Hospital - Temporary waiting room set up in an old ward

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Temporary waiting room set up in an old ward

The ward in 1905The ward in 1960These pictures from 1905 and 1960 show the same ward as the image above, while the hospital was in use. Note the curtains for patient privacy were only added in 1960.

 

Royal Haslar Hospital - Decaying ward

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Decaying ward

Royal Haslar Hospital - Seats in a ward

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Seats in a ward

Royal Haslar Hospital - Lights in an operating theatre

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Lights in an operating theatre

Royal Haslar Hospital - Plastic bone and book about medical procedures

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Plastic bone and book about medical procedures

Original operating theatre at HaslarAdmirals Walk and the pavilion above main arcadeThe original operating theatre was situated above the main arcade. The first image shows the inside of the pavilion which can be seen in second image. The pavilion was removed after the First World War.  

Royal Haslar Hospital - Children's ward

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Children’s ward

Royal Haslar Hospital - Mural showing the Haslar Peninsula

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Mural showing the Haslar Peninsula

Royal Haslar Hospital - Huge spiral staircase

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Huge spiral staircase

Royal Haslar Hospital - Looking up the spiral

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Looking up the spiral

Royal Haslar Hospital - Looking down the spiral

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Looking down the spiral

Royal Haslar Hospital - Spiral staircase viewed from the bottom

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Spiral staircase viewed from the bottom

Royal Haslar Hospital - Corridor in the Crosslink which was a later addition

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Corridor in the Crosslink which was a later addition

Royal Haslar Hospital - Emblem in entrance

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Emblem in entrance

Royal Haslar Hospital - CT Scanner

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Royal Haslar Hospital – CT Scanner

Royal Haslar Hospital - Masses of equipment left behind

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Masses of equipment left behind

Royal Haslar Hospital - Control booth

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Control booth

Royal Haslar Hospital - X-Ray Machine

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Royal Haslar Hospital – X-Ray Machine

Royal Haslar Hospital - Fluoroscopic X-Ray Machine

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Fluoroscopic X-Ray Machine

Royal Haslar Hospital - Small X-Ray Machine

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Small X-Ray Machine

Royal Haslar Hospital - MRI Scanner

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Royal Haslar Hospital – MRI Scanner

Royal Haslar Hospital - MRI Scanner and computer equipment

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Royal Haslar Hospital – MRI Scanner and computer equipment

Royal Haslar Hospital - The arcade

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Royal Haslar Hospital – The arcade

Royal Haslar Hospital - Arcade entrance

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Arcade entrance

Royal Haslar Hospital - Tramway in arcade

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Tramway in arcade

Royal Haslar Hospital - The Main Arcade was the original entrance

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Royal Haslar Hospital – The Main Arcade was the original entrance

Tram being pushed into HaslarTramway through Haslar main entranceThe tramway connected Haslar Jetty to the hospital so sick or injured sailors could be transferred easily from ships. Sick Berth staff would push the tram by hand into the hospitals arcade.  

Royal Haslar Hospital - Columns and arches

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Columns and arches

Royal Haslar Hospital - The gymnasium

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Royal Haslar Hospital – The gymnasium

Royal Haslar Hospital - Lecture theatre

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Lecture theatre

Royal Haslar Hospital - Dental surgery

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Dental surgery

Royal Haslar Hospital - Waiting area

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Waiting area

Royal Haslar Hospital - Hydrotherapy Pool

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Hydrotherapy Pool

Royal Haslar Hospital - Hydrotherapy Pool

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Hydrotherapy Pool

Royal Haslar Hospital - Items in the lab

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Items in the lab

Royal Haslar Hospital - Laboratory

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Laboratory

Royal Haslar Hospital - Centrifuge

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Centrifuge

Royal Haslar Hospital - Chair behind frayed curtains

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Chair behind frayed curtains

Royal Haslar Hospital - Staircase in the newer extension

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Staircase in the newer extension

Royal Haslar Hospital - Stairs from top

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Stairs from top

Royal Haslar Hospital - Wheelchair

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Wheelchair

Royal Haslar Hospital - Chair in large empty room

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Chair in large empty room

Royal Haslar Hospital - Pool table

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Pool table

Royal Haslar Hospital - Cafe area

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Cafe area

Royal Haslar Hospital - Canada Block external

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Royal Haslar Hospital – Canada Block external

Royal Haslar Hospital - G-Block External

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Royal Haslar Hospital – G-Block External

Haslar Padded Cell - Pocock Brothers Padded Cell

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Haslar Padded Cell – Pocock Brothers Padded Cell

Padded CellMore about the Padded Cell

G-Block was the hospital’s psychiatric ward and features an original Pocock Brothers padded cell. I have written a separate report about the padded cell.

 

Further Feading If you liked this report please also check out Proj3ct M4yh3ms Haslar Hospital report on his website.

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