The Police Stations of Hampton
The third and last Police Station in Hampton is set to be redeveloped
As the development of the Police Station at 68 Station Road is now on the horizon it seems appropriate to now look back at this building, and earlier police stations in Hampton, and follow the path of local policing in this article.
The first Police Station in Hampton was at what is now known as No 46 Station Road. The stable (still remaining in the front garden) was built to house the patrol’s horse and fodder. Hampton was initially part of “V” Division, established in 1830, and later, from October 1865, became part of “T” Division and is now part of South West “SW” Division.
Initially police were not based locally but from c1839 there are indications that they were. There is an entry in the Vestry minutes for January 1840 making a rate for relief of the poor and “for providing the sum required to be paid to the receiver for maintaining the police for the six months next insuing”. The 1841 Census shows William Sampson as the residence officer. In the 20th century No 46 was occupied by Frederick King, painter, and then by Frederick King & Sons, builders between World War One and World War Two, and possibly later. The stables were then used for storage of materials and propping ladders, rather than for housing a horse.
No 12 Station Road was the second Police Station in Hampton. In Dec 1846 Home Office approval was granted for the building of a Police Station in Hampton at 12 Station Road where it remained until the opening of the Police Station at 68 Station Road in 1905. The premises at No 12 were purpose-built unlike the earlier premises at No 46 which utilised an existing building. The Vestry minutes of 26 January 1849 record that the Police Station was assessed for Rates of £26 p.a. and so the building was probably completed at about that time.
The 1861 Census shows Sgt Charles Churchill and 6 constables living at the Police Station. In 1896, in the days before telephones, an electric bell circuit was approved between the Police Station and the house of Captain (of the fire brigade) Robert Graham who lived in the house St Albans in Hampton Court Road. (This house was demolished in 1972 but the former stables still survive as St Albans Lodge). After the Police Station moved out of No 12 in 1905 the building became a laundry and was also known as Suffolk House. The directories record that it was used as a laundry until 1921. Since then it has been used by both private owners and for commercial uses. In more recent years it was used as offices, in the 1990s by Printpak Ltd and more recently by Brasher Leisure Ltd. In very recent times it has been converted back to domestic accommodation and has been renamed The Old Police Station.
The present Police Station building at 68 Station Road dates to 1905. The Surrey Comet reported that in 1900 a new Police Station had been proposed. The police then purchased a plot from the Earl of Carlisle’s Manor House estate. The new Police Station and adjacent shops were all built on Warfield which was then part of the Manor House estate. By August 1904 the paper reported that “a new and more commodious Police Station is being erected in Station Road near the World’s End public house by Messrs Collinson of Teddington”. Much later a very old Hampton resident recalled: “The new station was modern but only consisted of a charge room, office, three single cells, one cell for more than one and this had a lavatory which could be isolated by a sliding door operated from outside, a section house (hostel) and a billiard room. A boyish joke was to be shown over the station and then isolate the guide in the lavatory. Of course one had to be able to run!”
In October 1935 the Hampton UDC minutes record the Council had received a letter from the Metropolitan Police stating that the “rebuilding” of Hampton Police Station was now in progress. The rebuilding was by way of extensions to the earlier building and included the addition of a large two-storey building at the back of the property which was used for vehicle maintenance although this work was contracted out in more recent years. The parking area for police vehicles in front of this additional building was much extended by the purchase and demolition of four old cottages (formerly 60-66 Station Road) in 1958. In 1968 the Police Station was closed and reverted to the status of a police office and the staff were transferred to Teddington and Sunbury. In more recent years the top storey of the police garage was used to house a collection of historic police vehicles and other police memorabilia. These were transferred to Hendon in 2014 leaving the site empty and to await its subsequent fate.