Inside the Former HM Prison Reading, Berkshire

Inside the former HM Prison Reading in Berkshire, England (Image: True British Metal; an abandoned cell block at HM Prison Reading)

A solid, Victorian fortress of a building, HM Prison Reading was once one of Britain’s most notorious jails. Irish prisoners of the Easter Rising were held here, as were captured German soldiers during both world wars. At one point the facility was also used as a borstal school. Made famous by Oscar Wilde in the his poem the Ballad of Reading Gaol, written after the playwright served his sentence of hard labour there, it dealt out punishment from 1844 right up till 2013.

Today, the abandoned HM Prison Reading is closed. But, as these photos by Flickr user True British Metal show, the historic jail is still in good condition. Cells have been preserved, the electricity works, and art exhibitions are now held there. Reading Council intends to preserve the former lock-up as a tourist attraction.

An abandoned cell at the infamous HM Prison Reading, where playwright Oscar Wilde was once imprisoned

A Wing inside the closed prison in Reading, Berkshire

The abandoned prison gymnasium at HM Reading

The abandoned HM Prison Reading remains in good condition and is set to reopen as an arts and tourist destination (Images: True British Metal)

Related: The Infamous Ruins of Philadelphia’s Holmesburg Prison



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