Queen Street Police Station

  • 20 Feb 2023
  • Crime and Legal
  • Back


In 1838, the old Militia Depot on the corner of Queen Street and St Nicholas Street was converted into a proper police headquarters. It had police hoses for an inspector and a constable, but parts were let out to tradesmen as a warehouse. There was little sanitary arrangements, and not until the second Cholera scare in 1849 were water closets erected in the depot. It appears that County prisoners were brought here too, for in 1841, a charge of one shilling was made for cleaning each prisoner brought in by the County Constables. The first County Police Station was erected in Loves Grove, at the back of the County Gaol. It contained three cells, and residences for the Deputy Chief Constable and a Superintendent. (Prior to the redevelopment, in the later years the old Militia depot became a bakery ran by the Gardner family, which as a very young girl l recall seeing the original cell key's displayed on the wall)

In 1862, a new Police Headquarters, with a house for the Head Constable was built in Copenhagen Street, and so it remained until 1935. The Head Constable's house was later used by the Mayor's Office, and a portion of the cell block can still be seen, complete with iron doors.


In 1856, it was made compulsory for every town to have a police force. To avoid looking military, a blue serge uniform, almost civilian in style was worn, with a top hat - that at a time when almost every respectable man wore a top hat. They were armed only with a whistle and a wooden truncheon.