Police station. Designed by John Dixon Butler in 1897 and opened in 1899. Later alterations to the interior.
Reason for Listing
Pinner Police Station is listed for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: an early design by John Dixon Butler, the most accomplished and prolific of the Metropolitan Police Surveyors. Designed in the Domestic Revival idiom as a response to its semi-rural location, it contrasts with his more formal designs for inner-London police stations and courthouses and reflects his versatility. Few of Butler's outer suburban police stations survive; this example is well composed, built in good-quality materials, using the prominent corner site to maximum effect;
* Intactness: the external elevations are little altered, and a number of subsidiary features remain, most notably the detached stable, a rare survival, and the original police lamp.
A police station at Pinner was originally proposed in a Commissioner’s Memorandum dated 4 January 1892 which noted housing development in the area and stated ‘with a Station on the Metropolitan Railway an extensive suburb will doubtless grow up. At present there is no station nearer than Harrow and Ruislip, each about 3½ miles distant.’ On 30 March 1892 the Police Surveyor recommended purchase of a plot of land at the corner of the main Pinner Road and Waxwell Rise which was acquired for £250 on 29 September 1893. The plans by John Dixon Butler are dated August 1897 and were approved on 27 September. Police Orders of 29 April 1899 state that ‘The new Police Station at Pinner is to be taken into occupation by Police and business commenced therein 1st prox. One married sergeant, lodging assessment 4/- per week.’ The first occupant of the flat above the station which consisted of two bedrooms, a living room, a scullery and a larder, was Sergeant John Moore and his family. The police station consisted of a lobby, waiting room, inspector’s office, charge room, parade room and three cells. The stable had stalls for two horses and an attached ambulance shed.
A plan dated 1942 notes that the station was "ameliorated in 1936" and shows alterations to the layout of the building with only the northern cell still in use with the other two now serving as a surgeon and matron’s room and a detention room. A telephone room was inserted between the parade room and Inspector’s room incorporating what was originally a store room. The charge room and waiting room were reduced in size and an interview room added. Changes were also made to the layout of the entrance lobby and waiting room. On the upper floor the larder was converted to a third bedroom and a bicycle shed added to the rear of the cell block (subsequently converted to a generator room and later rebuilt). The stable has been converted to a canteen and the ambulance shed to WCs. The plan also shows the layout of the vegetable garden which once occupied the land to the west of the building.
The cells ceased to be used c1964. Having served intermittently as offices since 1976, the police station reopened in July 2002 on a part time operational basis.
John Dixon Butler (1861-1920) succeeded his father, John Butler (1828-1900), to the post of Surveyor to the Metropolitan Police in 1895, serving until his death in 1920 by which time he had designed over 200 police stations and courts.
MATERIALS: red brick with Portland stone dressings, clay-tile roofs
PLAN: comprises two-storey police station to south and single-storey cell block to north. The internal plan remains largely as shown on the 1942 plan with some subdivision, including a brick partition to the parade room.
EXTERIOR: a picturesque composition in the Domestic Revival manner, occupying a prominent corner site. The elevations vary in treatment and have gables of different heights with deep eaves and bargeboards, some with decorative timber framing. Steep pitched roofs and tall stacks. Windows are mainly multi-pane timber sashes; those at ground floor within stone mullions, some with ogee carving to lintels.
The front (south) elevation has a broad central gabled bay and a porch to the side with a moulded stone arch bearing a crenellated sign reading POLICE. Original plank door with cover fillets and brass furniture. Brick ramp and steps with metal railings are not of special interest. The east elevation has paired asymmetrical gables; the angle of the right-hand bay has a curved mullioned window above which is a deep moulded stone corbel. The single-storey cell block has a three-light mullioned window. The west elevation has paired asymmetrical gables and a single-storey WC block with a gablet; entrance to right (originally serving the married quarters) has ogee lintel and door similar to main entrance. The rear (north) elevation has a small tile-hung gable and full-width glazing to ground-floor parade room, with double doors. The roof has a steel platform, originally mounting a WWII air-raid siren. The basement has metal ventilation grilles and stone steps down to the entrance. The rear (west) elevation of the cell block retains one original cell window with cast-iron frame, set high up in the wall; those to the other two bays have been enlarged. Small brick extension at north end is not of special interest.
INTERIOR: the entrance has a glazed timber lobby, probably dating from the 1930s. Surviving features include a simple stair with stick balusters and chamfered newel posts, some doors and surrounds and a cell door. Glazed brick dados may survive in the parade room but have been overpainted.
STABLE BLOCK: single storey with hayloft above, designed in similar style and materials to police station. Rendered gable to the front (east) elevation, chimney on the north and an outshut, originally a shed for a horse-drawn ambulance but now WCs, on the south. The front elevation, which originally had a stable door to the right, has been remodelled at ground floor level and now has paired sash windows and entrance to left. The interior has been modernised and lacks special interest.
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: adjoining the stable is a brick boundary wall with a tall gate pier with pyramidal stone cap. Sections of perimeter fence to the east and west remain, with long and short close-boarding and timber piers. The small garden to the front elevation is enclosed by low stone bollards connected by a single iron rail; the western bollard carries the original cast-iron police lamp-post and lantern. A signal lamp of uncertain date is fixed to a pole mounted on the fence on Elm Park Road and another on the south-west corner of the building.
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.