Porirua Lunatic Asylum's F Ward housed 'refractory' (disturbed) female psychiatric patients from 1910 until the 1970s. This photograph shows a seclusion room, used until the late 1960s. Its walls and door were very thick and heavy to deaden sound. A peephole in one wall allowed staff to observe patients at all times. A shutter could be placed over the window to prevent violent patients from harming themselves. The mattress and blanket are of heavy canvas to prevent them from being torn up.
Courtesy of Porirua Hospital Museum
Using this item
Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Photograph by Marguerite Hill
This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 New Zealand Licence