Bushey (1840-1884)

26, High Street

By Andy Wiseman

When the Metropolitan Police Act of 1839 expanded the territory of London’s police force, the new boundary fell half a mile short of Watford. It did however encapsulate Bushey and officers from the Metropolis began policing the village a full year before the Hertfordshire Constabulary was conceived. The first premise to be used by the Metropolitan officers was an existing house located on the High Street. Constructed in 1835, the two storey, yellow brick house stood opposite the 13th century church of St James. When acquired by the police, the property was modified to incorporate a small cell and stables to the rear. It is likely that the police station comprised accommodation for two police officers and their families as the census of 1851 shows Constables Zachariah Hollier and John Poplett to be in residence there.

During the second half of the twentieth century, the footprint of the village expanded considerably and with its population on the increase, the adequacies of its meagre police station were inevitably called into question. In 1875 the decision was made to abandon the building on the High Street, in place of a new, purpose-built station.

26, High Street was finally vacated by Bushey’s policemen nine years later, when all police business was relocated to the eagerly awaited new building.

Since 1884, Bushey’s first police station has served the village as as a watch-repairers, surveyors office, hairdressers and more recently as an antiques shop. In the 1980’s, an early Metropolitan police truncheon was found on the premises and is now on permanent display at the Bushey museum. Despite being fitted with a shop-front in the 20th century, the original fascia of the building has since been recreated. A blue plague next to the front door now informs passers-by of the building’s former role. The building is a private home once again and has been renamed Church View House.

This page was added on 10/11/2014.

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  • My Grandfather Alexander Sutherland was Station Sergeant ( a rank unique to the Met, three stripes with crown above) for a time leading up to 1912. He lived with his family in a flat over the station.

    By Donald Massey (15/04/2022)
  • Hi Lizzie,

    Apologies for the delay in replying but I have no alerts set up for this website or page.

    I’ll get some excerpts over to you as soon as I can – There’s some incredibly interesting content!

    Many thanks.

    By Michael Dagg-Heston (30/12/2020)
  • Michael, what a remarkable prize! This would be of interest to local history boffins like myself. Any chance of a few excerpts? Thanks, Lizzie

    By Lizzie (28/05/2020)
  • I’ve just recently won an auction of a police notebook which belonged to a PC 135 Edward Sayer of Bushey Metropolitan Police who would have been stationed here.

    The booklet goes back to 1878 in detail and with this it holds his findings on evidence, criminals, magistrates, public houses and public carriages – lists of crimes and local criminals with their ages and sentences. Also within it are promotions and demotions of officers – accompanied with the deaths of PCs.

    A remarkable piece of history. It also highlights his promotion from PC to Sergeant which again, would have been from this very station.

    Beautiful to see that the building still stands and has been a hub of local history to Bushey – Thank you for this fine article..

    By Michael Dagg-Heston (23/05/2020)
  • In the 1950’s, this was a great little antique shop.

    By Margaret Elliott (12/11/2017)
  • I am amazed at the history of this little house that I’ I’ve known since I was born. I live in the Bushey area and pass this house every day. This is utterly facinating to know; so much history for such a small home! However one correction I do have is that this house, correctly a private home, is called Church View House rather than Church View Cottage.
    Thank you for this very interesting and facinating read!

    By Lilli (14/05/2016)