Sunday 18 March 2007

18th Century police station - # 50

Whizz past in your car and you will not notice this tiny wooden shed 10 meters back from the road side. Walk past and you will assume it's an old garden shed in an odd position. (The building behind is younger - but not much - and was a blacksmith's forge.)

This white hut is an ancient police station built in the 1780s. There are only two of these left in England. It is the Petersham Pound and Lockup, where criminal vagrants and straying cattle would be kept awaiting the attention of "higher authority".

The constable was armed and paid for by the local magistrates. The last serious incident was in the mid 19th Century when a carter, up to no good with smuggled goods, tried to make a run for it and was shot dead. A court case then took place to assess whether or not the killing was lawful.

This little survivor from the past is listed by "English Heritage" as a "building at risk". Read more here:

Type TW10 7AD into Google Earth and see where is on the Petersham Road A307.


  1. Really? A police station from the years of yore? Interesting find 'Roon.

  2. Now I try to remember the name of a village in Cornwall, which was already long time ago reconditioned.
    I remember the narrow streets and a donkey belongs somehow to this village.I think, that some foundation
    was taken care this village ? ?

  3. How fascinating and that it's survived so well. Only wood after all.

  4. In early 1939 I lived in Petersham, my parents kept the Fox & Duck pub next to the watchman's box. When the pub was rebuilt (late '39) the box was moved back away from the roadside to the pound at the back of the box that is why the village pound is now at the front.