Police Station Information

Braintree - Fairfield Road was opened in and closed in

Construction of the new Braintree police station began in 1892, to replace the former station situated along Rayne Road. The Rayne Road site had become inadequate and inconveniently distant from the courthouse and the new police station was to be situated in a far more appropriate location in the town centre.

On Friday 18th June 1893, the Chelmsford Chronicle reported that the new building, which absorbed the old Railway Hotel, on the corner of Fairfield Road and Lower Station Street, was nearing completion.  

The hotel rooms of the old hotel were retained and converted into a residence for the superintendent, in addition to offices and a charge room. There were quarters for two married constables on the site of the old hotel stables and these were considered very commodious. Not so commodious was the superintendent's accommodation, which was described as tolerably comfortable. Incorporated into the design of the new police station were two cells for males and one for females.

A network of electric bells facilitated communications between the superintendent, constables and prisoners in the cells.

The new station also incorporated a courthouse, the interior of which measured 30 feet by 20 feet.

The entire project cost close to £4,000 and the newspaper report suggested the new police station would be opened at the end of July 1893.

On 12th April 1935 the Chelmsford Chronicle reported on the opening of the new court house. The new court was built to the rear of the police station, adjacent to South Street. Built in an art-deco style, it provided a greater capacity than the current building within the 1893 police station, the facilities at there being deemed inadequate and unable to accommodate the numbers attending hearings. This lack of capacity sometimes meant courts being held in inns or hotels in the town, including the Woolpack, the White Hart or the Horn Hotel. That there was no standing room in the old court had been particularly troublesome. Contemporaneous re-ordering of the old police station gave officers recreational facilities including a billiards table!

The police station remained at this premises in Fairfield Road until 1993, when the police in Braintree finally moved to a brand new station in The Avenue, designed by the same architect as that in Colchester and the new Force Control Room at the Essex Police Headquarters in Chelmsford.

The building's current function is: Residential
Braintree Fairfield Road Police Station
Image credit: Essex Police Museum CHMPM02608
Braintree Fairfield Road Police Station
Image credit: Essex Police Museum CHMPM02501
Essex Police Museum CHMPM1748
Image credit: Essex Police Museum CHMPM1748
The New Court House - Chelmsford Chronicle 12th April 1935
Image credit: The New Court House - Chelmsford Chronicle 12th April 1935

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