This used to be the police
station (the original one having been Peel House)
until it was decided that Bagshot no longer needed its own station.
As well as police offices and cells, the building also provided living
accommodation for two constables and a sergeant.
Mark tells me that in the latter years of its use as a Police Station it
had limited opening hours and some wag posted a sign on the door saying "It
is an offence to commit a crime between the hours of 3:00pm and 9:30am".
building is locally listed as one of historic importance. National
listing was declined, I am told because the frontage is not entirly
symetrical - look closely and you will see that the right hand door,
which was the entrance to the police station, is bigger than the door
to the sergeant's living quarters on the left.
The trust took over a semi-derelict building, restored it and converted it, not to
a museum, but to a working, volunteer-run archaeology unit. The building
providing storage and workshop facilities for processing the finds from the
various excavations that they have been involved with, research facilities,
educational facilities, and some galleries in which they mount displays
about their current work. The local museum is the Surrey Heath
museum in the council buildings in Knoll Road, Camberley, and artefacts from
the trust's collection are frequently featured in exhibits there.
There have been archaeological finds in Bagshot that
are of national significance, including a 5th century Romano-Christian jet
finger ring and the largest hoard of early 17th century English made Venetian
glass ever found. Such valuable finds are not kept at the centre.
The former police cells were put to excellent use as stores - they just
wish that more of the original wooden beds had been left to provide shelves!
The centre has been regularly used with volunteers getting together to work on various aspects of post excavation
processing. There have been occasional
"open days" and the centre hosts the Young Archaeologists' Club for 9-16 year
The trust members have developed an expertise in
which is a modern approach to archaeological work that does not disturb the
end of the Centre is now in sight as the owners, Surrey County Council,
have given notice that the lease will not be renewed, though it is not
known what alternative use they have for the building. After
several temporary extensions of the lease I understand that the Trust
are planning to vacate the building by the end of 2016.
current primary activity of the Trust's volunteers, and others who have
offered to help, is sorting and cataloging the contents of hundreds of
boxes of finds and deciding what needs to be retained. Arrangements are
in hand, in conjunction with the local museum, to relocate the finds,
but as yet the Trust have been unable to secure the use of alternative
meeting and workshop facilities.
Surrey Heath Archaeology and Heritage Trust
The Archaeology Centre,
4-10 London Road,
Bagshot, Surrey, GU19 5HN
Tel: 07870 447810
More information about the trust is available
here and the Young Archaeologists' Club
Data provided only for personal background information. While every effort
has been made to provide correct information no assurance as to its accuracy
is given or implied. Check any facts you wish to rely upon.