Bessborough Lodge

Ashtown Gate Lodge [police station]

This very beautiful stone building at Ashtown Gates is known as Bessborough Lodge. It is joined to another gate lodge which you can just about see at the right hand edge of the photograph. There are two lodges at the Ashtown Gates, very beautiful matching brown lodges facing each other at the exit from the park. This particular building was designed by Decimus Burton and was completed way back in 1848. The house was originally built as a police barracks and was used to house policemen serving in the park and also had room to accommodate prisoners. It was obviously a fully serving police station when it was originally built but now it accommodates staff serving in the park.
I actually ended up chatting to some people coming out of one of the lodges after taking this photograph and they reliably informed me that the police barracks had several drunk tanks in it. Anybody caught wandering around the park under the influence of alcohol would be swiftly taken away and thrown in the cell for the night to sleep it off. Obviously drunkenness in the park was frowned upon back then, as I suppose it is nowadays too in fairness. Can only imagine how busy they would have been after the Swedish House Mafia concert there last year.

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