Wandsworth Prison, originally known as Surrey House of Correction, is a significant historical structure in the UK’s prison system. It was established in 1851 and is located in a predominantly residential area of South-West London, near Wandsworth Common. This facility, one of the largest in the UK, is a Category B men’s prison with a Category C resettlement unit. Wandsworth Prison is operated by His Majesty’s Prison Service.
The prison was initially designed for fewer than a thousand inmates, reflecting the architectural principles of its time. However, today it holds a significantly higher number of inmates, with a population fluctuating between 1,300 and 1,500, far exceeding its original capacity. The official capacity is around 1,600 across five wings, but it has faced issues of overcrowding, often housing 60% to 80% more inmates than it was designed for.
What is Life Like Inside Wandsworth Prison?
Life inside Wandsworth Prison can be challenging due to overcrowding and the inherent difficulties of prison life. The facility, having a long history and being one of the largest in the country, has evolved over the years in its approach to inmate management and rehabilitation.
Wandsworth Prison Contact Details
Wandsworth Prison Telephone Number:
020 8588 4000
Wandsworth Prison Address:
Heathfield Road, London, SW18 3HU
Directions to Wandsworth Prison
For visitors, the nearest train stations to Wandsworth Prison are Clapham Junction, Earlsfield, or Wandsworth Common. Buses #77 or #219 serve these stations, and the prison is approximately a 15-minute walk from Wandsworth Common Station. If driving, the postcode SW18 3HU should be used for navigation. However, it is important to note that parking can be challenging near the prison.
Is there parking at Wandsworth prison?
No, it is in the middle of a residential area, you may find parking around the area but its normally reserved for residents.
Book A Wandsworth Prison Visit
Booking a Visit to Wandsworth Prison
Visiting hours at Wandsworth Prison are Monday to Thursday, with multiple slots throughout the day, and also on weekends. All visits must be booked in advance, except for the induction visit during a prisoner’s first week. The booking can be made by calling 020 8588 4002 during specified hours or by email. Visitors are advised to arrive at least 30 minutes before the visit for security checks and must bring a visiting order, photo ID, and proof of address. You can book online here or call 0300 060 6509 – The booking line is open, Monday to Friday, 9:15am to 5pm
Wandsworth Prison Visiting Times
Monday to Thursday: 08:00 – 09:00, 09:30 – 10:30, 11:00 – 12:00, 13:45 – 14:45, 15:15-16:15.
Saturday & Sunday: 08:30 – 09:30, 09:45 – 10:45, 11:15 – 12:15, 14:00 – 15:00, 15:30 – 16:30.
There are no visits on a Friday.
Summary of Wandsworth Prison
- Location: Wandsworth, London, SW18.
- Capacity: Approximately 1,600 prisoners across five wings (A, B, C, D, and E).
- Category: Category B men’s prison.
- Year of Establishment: 1851.
- Current Population: As of 2023, between 1,300 and 1,500 inmates.
- Management: Operated by His Majesty’s Prison Service.
- Governor: Katie Price (as of the last update).