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Laundry, Royal Naval Hospital, Haslar, Gosport

Description: Laundry, Royal Naval Hospital, Haslar

Grade: II
Date Listed: 2 April 2015
Building ID: 1424209

OS Grid Reference: SZ6177298924
OS Grid Coordinates: 461772, 98924
Latitude/Longitude: 50.7866, -1.1251

Locality: Gosport
Local Authority: Gosport Borough Council
County: Hampshire
Postcode: PO12 2AA

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Listing Text


Hospital laundry, 1854 with later additions. Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that the metal fire escape stair, and the lean-to extension on the south-east elevation, and the structures housing modern plant and equipment on the north-east elevation are not of special architectural or historic interest.

Reason for Listing

The laundry to the Royal Naval Hospital, Haslar, 1854, is listed at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:* Plan and function: the form of the building demonstrates the industrial process for which it was built; * Architectural interest: a considered and well-composed, formal design which is intended to mask the industrial function occurring within, adding another dignified building to the hospital grounds; * Historic interest: the systematic industrial process was commended by Florence Nightingale for its inherent good levels of hygiene; * Group value: it is closely associated with the main Grade II* listed hospital building, the scheduled boiler and engine house, and other listed structures, and makes a positive contribution to the site as a whole.


The Royal Naval Hospital, Haslar, was the first hospital in England to be purpose-built for the Navy, begun in 1745-46 and completed in 1761-62. The need for naval hospitals had been recognized some years earlier, and in 1744 an Order-in-Council from George II accepted the memorial submitted by the Earl of Sandwich, First Lord of the Admiralty, requesting the construction of hospitals at Portsmouth, Plymouth and Chatham. A new laundry was planned for the hospital in 1854; the original C18 laundering facilities were located in buildings to the south-east of the main hospital, which were converted to residential accommodation following the provision of the new laundry (listed Grade II, NHLE ref 1233479).Plans for a ‘new wash room’ are lodged with the English Heritage archive, and show an L-shaped building with a detached block to the west forming a courtyard enclosed by the hospital boundary wall. Piecemeal additions have been made to the building throughout its life, most notably the infilling of much of the courtyard with additional facilities and stores. The internal layout remains largely as built however, with large, double-height rooms devoted to washing and wringing, and a drying room with a system for the circulation of hot air. Machinery was updated during the course of the life of the laundry and was removed on its closure. An engine and boiler house (Scheduled Monument, NHLE ref 1001811) were built concurrently with the laundry on the site of a former well house in the yard to the gunboat sheds on the opposite side of Haslar Road; it is connected by a subterranean tunnel.The laundry dates from the time of the Crimean War, during and following which hygiene levels in hospitals were widely criticised; the laundry at Haslar received some attention as a model of what could be achieved, and was described by Florence Nightingale, along with the laundry at Woolwich, as the best she had seen. The systematic processing of linen, and the separation of unhygienic flannels from that process, was considered exemplary. The laundry remained in use until 2009.


The laundry was built to serve the Royal Naval Hospital, Haslar, in 1854 and has later additions.MATERIALS: the building is of red brick laid in Flemish bond, with gauged brick arches, slate roofs and a brick chimneystack; doors and window frames are timber. PLAN: the laundry was originally L-shaped in plan with the principal, two-storey range running south-west to north-east, with a perpendicular wing running north-west, abutting the hospital boundary wall. There is a detached, single storey range to the west enclosing an entrance courtyard which has since been infilled and added to with ancillary and storage buildings. Single-storey additions have been added to the south-east and north-east elevations and these are excluded from the listing. The internal configuration remains roughly as built, with the double-height washing, wringing and drying rooms in the north-east range, and folding, receiving, sewing and store rooms in the south-east range. The block to the west was originally used for laundering flannels.The original boiler and engine house are in a separate block on the opposite side of Haslar Road. EXTERIOR: the principal elevation faces south-east and has seven bays, those on the ground floor have two-over-two pane hornless sash windows with stone cills and gauged brick flat arches. Windows at first-floor level have six-over-six pane sashes. There is a double string course in brick and a plain stone cornice below a brick parapet concealing a shallow hipped slate roof. On the ground floor of the first and second bay a C20 single storey lean-to has been added. A modern fire escape stair and door have been added to the sixth bay. These features are excluded from the listing. The north-east elevation, of nine closely-spaced bays, is similarly detailed; the second and seventh upper windows are blind, and one has an oculus. Some alteration has been made to ground floor openings to incorporate modern machinery and plant, which is not of special interest and is excluded from the listing. The northern section of the range has a cast iron water tank with corrugated sheeting forming its roof. Facing south-west is the three-bay end of the south-eastern range, and the rear six bays of the north-east range, similarly detailed to the front. There are a number of mid- to late C19 and early C20 single-storey buildings enclosing the original flannel wash room and infilling the original entrance courtyard, including a hearse house on the outside elevation and two store rooms lit by roof lanterns. INTERIOR: the double-height washing, wringing and drying rooms are functional spaces, plain in their detailing. Original dividing timber plank doors remain, and one doorway has the interesting feature of bowing outwards at the bottom, allowing wide tubs to be wheeled through. There is an open string stair with a shaped handrail and metal stick balusters providing access to the first floor of the south-eastern range. A fireplace and cupboard remain in the south-east first-floor room, and an additional room has been inserted to the north-east, in the upper part of the drying room.

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.