Steelhouse Lane police station

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The station in March 2014, with cell block at far end
Keystone Head over the central doorway, by William Bloye, showing the Coat of arms of Birmingham
The Victorian cell block.

Steelhouse Lane police station is a police station in central Birmingham, England. It was built for the Birmingham City Police and opened in 1933 as their Central Police Station,[1] replacing a Victorian station on the same site.[2] It remains in use by their successor, the West Midlands Police, but is proposed for closure and sale.[3][4] The carvings over the entrances, including the coat of arms of Birmingham, are by the local sculptor William Bloye.

The station sits on a plot of land at the rear of the former Victoria Law Courts (now a magistrates' court), which was originally acquired for the extension of the court building.[1]

The 1933 station itself, in neo-Georgian style[1] is not a listed building, but the adjacent, late-nineteenth century cell block on the corner of Coleridge Passage was given Grade II protection on 8 July 1982 for its special architectural interest: the three-story building has a brick and terra cotta facade with many ornaments, and it has a slate roof.[5] The station sits in Birmingham City Council's Steelhouse Lane conservation area, which was designated in October 1993.[1] A tunnel links the cell block to the courts.[2]

The station is now a divisional headquarters for the West Midlands Police.[1]

The City of Birmingham Orchestra, (later renamed the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra) held its first rehearsal in the band room at the old station, at 9.30am on 4 September 1920.[6] For around sixty years, until closed in 2005, the station housed a private bar, allowing officers to drink when not on duty.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Goer, Matthew (14 August 2007). Steelhouse Lane Conservation Area Character Appraisal. Birmingham City Council. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Birmingham's Hidden Spaces: What future for Steelhouse Lane's 'mini-prison'?". Birmingham Post. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  3. ^ "Announcement on police buildings in Birmingham". West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner. 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  4. ^ "BBC News - Three Birmingham police stations to close in savings plan". BBC Online. 26 March 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  5. ^ "1221212". The National Heritage List for England. English Heritage. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  6. ^ Morley, Christopher (4 November 2010). "A glorious 90 years". The Birmingham Post. p. 4. 
  7. ^ "'Blow to morale' as bar forced to close". Birmingham Post. 2005-12-29. p. 3. Retrieved 26 March 2014.  (subscription required)

Coordinates: 52°29′03″N 1°53′36″W / 52.4843°N 1.8934°W / 52.4843; -1.8934