Clerkenwell Magistrates Court

A grade II listed building was recorded before conversion to a hotel. A police court, built 1840–2 and probably designed by Charles Reeves, in yellow brick with stucco decoration, originally contained to the rear a courtroom and cells accessible from Bagnigge Wells Road (later King’s Cross Road) by an entrance to the S under the royal arms. Surviving rooms to the front, on two floors and a basement, were for magistrates, police inspectors and a caretaker. Contemporary gate piers and iron railings faced the street, the gate leading to a stable yard to the S, behind a police station associated with the court. This police station was demolished and replaced by another, documented in 1867(9, designed by T C Sorby (this remains a police station, outside the redevelopment). The original courtroom and cells are documented as improved in 1889(90, and then demolished in 1903(6 and replaced by two new courtrooms, cells and offices to the N, which incorporated the front half of the earlier court house. The new building, on three floors and a basement, was faced in red brick with Portland stone dressings to the streets to W and N, with fine railings to the N, and in brown brick to the rear, facing Percy Yard, a private yard. The architect was John Dixon Butler. 20th-c alterations and additions included metal fire escapes, a roof-top air-raid siren, new doors and flushing toilets in the cells, and a new dock protected by bullet-proof glass in one of the courtrooms, which otherwise were little changed. The upper two floors were separated from the rest of the building in the 1970s, with their own street entrance, and used by police and traffic wardens until 2003. The courts last sat in 1998.

Address: 78 King’s Cross Road, WC1

Nearby Stations: King's Cross St Pancras Station

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