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1 August 2009

See the "world's smallest police station"

Your author tends to try to avoid London tourist knowledge clichés, but it is the weekend, so let's talk about one of the best. On the South East corner of Trafalgar Square is a small former police post which is famous for being the World's smallest police station.

This may or may not be accurate, but it's an interesting point nonetheless. The small police post was added during great depression of the 1930s, was linked directly to Scotland Yard and some claim that its slots are designed so that whoever was posted there would be able to fire on any rioters. Trafalgar Square has always been a centre for protest and confruntation. It is, after all, the centre of London.

Nowadays the station is, we learn, probably some sort of cleaner's cupboard, which seems very sad for such a well known feature of the central square of Britain's capital city. Mind you, the alternative is probably to place a person in there every hour until the queen dies and then erect a statue of her there.

Click here to see the location on a map.

^Picture from Flickr courtesy of Phil Parker^


  1. I love playing the "what do you think this is" game with tourist-visitors. I think "a toilet" was one of the better answers I got...

  2. I never knew about this - will keep my eyes peeled for it now!

  3. As an extra bit of trivia, the lamp on top of the police box is purportedly from HMS Victory.

  4. We have one of those in our area, too.

    Found this for your viewing pleasure:


    (Yours is WAY more pretty than our but ours is on the beach.)

  5. What a load of rubbish !

    '....has slots through which whoever was posted there could fire on any rioters' What ??? !!!

    I wish people would get facts right prior to posting such utter rubbish on the internet ! The 'slots' are NOT, and NEVER have been, used as firing points. NO shots have ever been fired from them. The slits are there to give an officer an all round view of the area.
    The police station you refer to is situated on the South East corner of Trafalgar Square, London, SW1 and has been known as the smallest police station in the world for some time now. It was used by the officers of the Metropolitan Police Service attached to Cannon Row (AD) police station for many years.

    After WW1 there was a temporary police box near the entrance to the tube station however in 1926 the station was due to be remodelled and there
    were objections to a police box being put on the Square itself. In 1927 the then head of the Office of works, Sir Lionel Edwards subsequently wrote to Scotland Yard suggesting that a police box could be put into the base of the lamp post plinth on the south east corner of the square. This proposal was agreed to and the lamp post was removed and the box was ’carved’ out of the core of the base. All this was done very quickly and the box was in use from 1930 or thereabouts.

    The building housed a telephone and when it rang the light on top flashed to draw the attention officers on duty in Trafalgar Square.
    The structure is no longer used by the police but is a now used as a store for street cleaning equipment. (what a sad ending)
    The 'official' smallest working police station in the world was in Wellington Arch (AW) at Hyde Park Corner, although no longer a police station it is open to the public to view.
    Wellington Arch (AW) was a subdivisional station of Cannon Row Police Station (AD).

  6. Thanks for popping by for an anonymous rant. Hope you found it therapeutic.

    I note you haven't linked to your own well researched articles on the internet, and assume this was accidental. I hope you can link in your reply.

    I should have known not to trust the Guardian.