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The Old Police House Woburn

The Old Police House March 2012
The Old Police House March 2012

Woburn’s police station was probably built in or around 1848. In that year the Duke of Bedford leased a “lately erected Police Station” to the Bedfordshire justices of the peace for fifty years [QEE3/2]. In 1864 the trustees of the late Duke conveyed the police station to the Clerk of the Peace for Bedfordshire [QEE3/3].

Directories for Bedfordshire were not published every year but every few years from the mid 19th century until 1940. The first time the Inspector of Police for Woburn is named is a directory of 1864 when the man in question was William Ralph Young. He is also listed in 1869. The following later inspectors are listed:

  • George Smith, 1877, 1885, 1890;
  • William Anniwell, 1894;
  • Andrew Pickering, 1898;
  • William Tatman, 1903 and 1906;
  • Thomas O. Harlow, 1910;
  • Thomas John Vincent, 1914;
  •  Samuel Stock, 1920;
  • Robert James Marritt, 1924;
  •  Frederick Charles Wood, 1927 and 1931;
  • Albert H. Weedon, 1936;
  • John R. Hopkins: 1940

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every building and piece of land in the country was to be assessed to determine its rateable value. Woburn, like much of the county was valued in 1927 and the valuer visiting the police station [DV1/C126/95] found the current inspector in occupation was Frederick Charles Wood. His accommodation comprised a hall, a living room, a kitchen, a parlour, a scullery and a larder. There were three bedrooms upstairs. A wood barn and a W. C. stood outside.

The police station side of the premises comprised: an office; three cells leading off a common corridor, each cell measuring 7 feet by 9 feet; an exercise yard and a brick and slate garage and stable. The cells appear to have adjoined the rear of the police house and the office seems to have been the single storey structure adjoining the house on the right hand side.

The police station was sold by Bedfordshire County Council, successors in title to the clerks of the peace, in 1957 [QEE3/4] for £1,200. Since that time for former police station has been a private house.