The Old Police Station
The former police station on the corner of Penge High Street and Penge Lane was built in 1872 on the advice of Penge Vestry who were concerned about the rising crime figures, especially on dark winter evenings. Workers frequented the twenty-five plus pubs in and around Penge during their non-working hours. There was much drunken rowdiness on the streets. Local historian Doris Pullen remembers, as late as the 1950s, comatose beings wheeled on trolleys, early on Sunday mornings, to the police station, having been collected from nearby streets.
The imposing new police station replaced an earlier wooden structure. The design is typical of late Victorian grandeur.
The building had the distinction of being the oldest working police station in metropolitan London until its demise in 2010. The building had overnight cells for miscreants and accommodation and meeting rooms for police officers.
A magnificent building in its own right, it is surprisingly not nationally-listed by Historic England, although that could change. Built of yellow and white bricks, with surrounding street railings, a pillared, stepped, main entrance with over-hanging lamp (formerly a blue police lamp), the building has been tastefully and sensitively restored by the current owners, Milton Lloyd. It is leased out to the Kings School of English as student accommodation.
Many local residents remember being able to fill in a ‘buildings non-attendance form’ in the front office before they went on holiday, knowing that the local police would keep an eye on their unattended property. Like the ubiquitous beat bobby, those days are sadly gone.
As from 2018 there was to be no police presence in a designated building in Penge, the Maple Road building being put up for sale. That decision has now been reversed: a police presence will continue in Maple Road. The main police building in Bromley is of course the newly-built Police Station at Bromley South. The police will continue to have a presence in Penge and Penge Forum is constantly in touch with local police through public meetings and presentations at Melvin Hall.
A blue ceramic heritage plaque, designed by Dom Richards, was made, courtesy of Bromley Council, as part of the Penge Heritage Trail, and installed in February, 2020, by the owners, Milton Lloyd.