For a single hanging the centre adjuster was used for the hanging rope, while the outer two were used to suspend ropes for the warders to hold onto, while they supported the condemned man.
The first floor room, painted a pale green, contained the lever and trapdoors and the ground floor room acted as the “pit” into which the prisoner dropped. Adjacent to this room was an autopsy room where post mortems were carried out.
Albert Pierrepoint described the trap in 1931 as having two leaves, each some 8 feet 6 inches long by 2 feet 6 inches wide, with rubber backed spring clips to catch them when they were released. Also on the first floor were the two condemned cells separated from the execution chamber by an ante room. It was just 20 feet from the condemned cells to the gallows.
Wandsworth prison's gallows was allowed to be photographed and in fact still survives in pieces within the Galleries of Justice in Nottingham, where the author saw and photographed it. There were two sets of condemned cells at Wandsworth, back to back in a mirror image pattern on E Wing. These were reached by the prisoner from the yard, by climbing a metal staircase. Between Condemned Cell A and the execution room was a small lobby, through which the officials entered from the main prison, to witness the hanging.
As at Pentonville, the execution chamber comprised three cells, one above the other at the end of E Wing where it joins the rotunda. This Condemned Suite was constructed in 1937. Alfred Richards was the first to be hanged here, on 12 July, 1938. The top floor, reached by a steel ladder from the execution room, contained the beam with three floor traps through which hung down chains for attachment of the ropes. There were three chain adjusting blocks bolted to the beam, with the centre one for use for single executions and the outer two for double ones.