The first purpose built Police Station for Southwark (or ‘M’ Division) opened in
1844 at Montague Street, Stones End. Today Montague Street still exists but
under another name, Stones End Street (it runs parallel to Borough High Street).
In 1867 it was decided that a new Police Station was needed at Stones End, and
in January 1868 premises in Blackman Street (later renamed Borough High
Street) were obtained. This is the site of today’s station. It was estimated that the
cost of the new station would be in the region of £10,000. The new station was
built and made ready for occupation in July 1870. In 1920, with an eye to future
expansion of Southwark Police Station, the freehold of the station – 323 Borough
High Street – plus those of the adjoining properties (319 and 321) were
purchased for the sum of £15,000. In 1938 plans were drawn up for a new
Divisional Headquarters and Sub-Divisional Police Station for Southwark to be
erected on the site of the present building which opened in 1940.
In 1855 Timothy Cavanagh left his job as a warehouse clerk and joined the
Metropolitan Police. His first posting was to Stones End Police Station in
Montague Street. Says Clive Emsley in The Great British Bobby (2009): “Many of
these Bobbies were young men, full of energy and testosterone and, when off
duty, they were likely to be rough and rowdy. In his memoirs Cavanagh
described the constables throwing eggs at each other and making so much noise
larking around in the station kitchen that magistrates in the neighbouring police
court several times ordered them to be quiet as they could not hear the
In 1958 a bronze plaque was affixed to the wall of Southwark Police Station (it
can still be found there, close to the front entrance). The wording reads: “Here
was Stones End where Town Street met the Old Turnpike Road. One of the
parliamentary forts, erected to defend London during the Civil War [1642-1651],
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