History of Hampstead Police Station
Hampstead’s first ‘watchhouse’ was built in 1708 but by 1748 it had fallen into disrepair, and a new one was built in Heath Street near its junction with High Street. In 1795, the watchhouse moved to the bottom of Flask Walk, where it stood with its two dungeons before being demolished in 1839.
Hampstead became part of S Division in the newly established Metropolitan Police Force and Hampstead’s first real police station was opened at 9 Holly Place before moving in 1834 to the corner of Holly Hill and Heath Street. The police station was replaced again in 1870 by a new station on Rosslyn Hill next to the Soldiers’ Daughters’ Home, which in turn was replaced in 1913 by the existing station and magistrates’ court at the corner of Rosslyn Hill and Downshire Hill.
The building was designed by John Dixon Butler. Architect and Surveyor to the Metropolitan Police, Butler built 200 police stations and court houses in London, 58 still survive and 21, as here, are listed buildings
Rosslyn Hill remained the busy and vibrant operational home of S Division for 100 years until the police station closed in 2013. It has been vacant since then.