Fleet Street could soon get a large new legal quarter with an entire block given over to new courthouse and police headquarters if plans by the City of London go ahead.

At the moment, the City of London has three courts in two locations, the Civil Court, Mayor’s and City of London Court and City of London Magistrates’ Court — plus four police stations and a headquarters.

Their intention is to demolish an entire block of rather shabby offices on Fleet Street that the City already owns, building a new courthouse fronting onto Fleet Street, and a new police headquarters right behind it.

The result would be a legal complex roughly halfway between the Royal Courts of Justice and the Old Bailey.

It will also be good news for journalists while they wait outside the courthouse for a newsworthy story there’s an excellent pub opposite the site – the Olde Cheshire Cheese.

If the courts move, then the current courthouses — next to Mansion House and the Guildhall are listed heritage buildings, so likely to be refurbished into something else.

Two of the City of London Police’s existing buildings have been sold — the headquarters in Wood Street is to be converted into a hotel, while the Snow Hill Station was also sold to a hotel investor.

A police facility for the public is being maintained at Bishopsgate.

A consultation by the City of London is now seeking opinions on the plans to consolidate the sites into one location and shows the basic layout of the plans without yet going into details about the design of the buildings.

When you look at the maps though, something jumps out.

There is an existing alleyway running behind what is likely to be the new courts building, and it can be presumed that the accused facing trial and the convicted being sent for sentencing will go in via the rear of the building, for privacy and security reasons.

It may be forboding then for some that the address they will arrive at will be… Hanging Sword Alley.


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  1. Melvyn says:

    Snow Hill police station used to be famed as the smallest police station with the tallest coppers !

  2. Chas says:

    So what will become of the stables in the McMorran (an assistant of Lutyens) & Whitby building in Wood Street? Another sensible and convenient facility down the drain?

    • ianvisits says:

      You’ll have to wait for an article about the hotel’s plans for that building in a few years time.

    • Chas says:

      Ian misses my point. No doubt the proposed hotel at Wood Street will incorporate a “Stables Bar” or “Bridle Brasserie”. But what will become of the welcome and reassuring presence of the mounted police service in the City, the oldest branch of the Met (1760)? With no presence in the City, I assume they will now have to transport from police stables at Bow or Great Scotland Yard, or not at all. I have seen no coverage in the press.

    • ianvisits says:

      It’s likely that they will simply move to the new building – can’t see any reason why they would want to move them out of the City.

  3. Lynda Lynch says:

    Loved working at Snow Hill and going up on the roof, only those in the “family ” knew it was there so sad it’s been sold on will defo book in when it’s converted, glad that Bishopsgate is remaining Liverpool St Station needs that visible presence.

  4. Roland says:

    Chas is right. There is a real risk that the move to Fleet Street will be used to terminate the police horse patrols in the City. The City of London Police have already said there is no space on the already crowded new Fleet St development for the horses. The horses require quite a lot of space, and on the ground floor.

    • ianvisits says:

      “The City of London Police have already said there is no space on the already crowded new Fleet St development for the horses.” <-- where have they said that?

  5. Roland says:

    It is sad that the plans show the ancient steps between Salisbury Square and Primrose Hill done away with. These drop down steeply showing an ancient public route to the riverside. They used to be shown on Ordnance Survey maps, but curiously arent any more, even though they are still open and a public right of way (Google maps still shows them). Though the drawing emphasises—with dotted red lines and arrows—the pedestian permeability and public realm in an attempt to reassure us that the new justice centre development will not be a private gated enclave, there is a risk that it will be just that.

    • Chris Rogers says:

      There’s not enough detail on the sketch to determine even the extent of the new buildings properly let alone that. In truth the steps have been blocked for a year at least. See my site for the most comprehensive analysis of the proposal to date http://www.chrismrogers.net

  6. N Wallace says:

    What is happening to the police museum inside wood street ?

  7. John Ormes says:

    In the post on 6th August mention is made of existing 4 police stations and a police HQ. Can you tell me where they are please?
    the location for the ‘flagship courts facility’ looks bigger than the CCC. will that be the case or will the CCC be incorporated into the new facility? JAO

    • ianvisits says:

      You can look up the City of London Police addresses on their website, as for the court size, that’s why there’s a consultation open at the moment, to decide these things.

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