St Thomas’s Road Chorley PR7 1RZ
The police station and magistrates’ court at Chorley was designed to replace a building from 1896 – a weights and measures plaque from the original building was retained and remounted at the foot of the new building.
The two buildings were set adjacent one another and around a newly formed square with one side made up of the rear of the existing town hall. This small civic group was intended to relate to one another in scale, but was markedly contrasting in its material make-up.
County Architect’s Report: 1963-64.
The design team was Roger Booth, Lancashire County Architect; C.A. Spivey, Assistant County Architect; D.B. Stephenson, Design Architect; and D.G. Edwards, A.G. Gass, responsible for the detailed design and construction. The seven-storey in-situ concrete framed main block was the last bespoke police station to be built in Lancashire, following this the department developed a systemised concrete construction method which was deployed across the county. The dramatic cantilevers gave the new building a stature and presence that signalled authority. The lower levels were accessed by ramps and provided space for police vehicles. To enter the police station one ascended a set of external stairs across a pool that once contained koi carp – fittingly, one boy described the new building as a ‘fishtank’ upon its completion. The magistrates’ court was finished externally in a grey brick and carried the signature pyramid rooflights that were synonymous with the Department.
Many thanks to Richard at Mainstream Modern
This is one of many Roger Booth police stations I have visited – Bonny Street Blackpool under threat, Bury long gone and the extant variant in Morecambe
The Magistrates’ Court is up for sale:
Coun Alistair Bradley, Leader of Chorley Council, confirmed that the council had enquired to take ownership of the building but that this was knocked back.
He said: We’ve enquired about taking the building on but the owners, the Ministry of Justice, has said they want to take it to market.
The building is being advertised as a potential site for a future office, residential, restaurant and bar, leisure, entertainment, and hotel.
Asked about its future, Chorley councillor Aaron Beaver told Lancs Live he had heard no news of developments but desperately wanted to see something happen with the building, he said:
It’s a perfect location. There’s lots of things it could be used for.
If you were to knock it down, there’s all sorts of things which could be built there. If you were to convert it to something like flats, it could be tricky because there’s not many windows.
Commenting on the progress of the sale since it’s closure, he added:
I wouldn’t say it’s slow moving, I’d say it’s not moving.
We eagerly await any possible developments.
Whilst walking around the adjoining Police Station.