City Insights

Photo:Former Brighton and Hove councillor, Mrs Pat Drake, founder of the museum at the launch this week

Former Brighton and Hove councillor, Mrs Pat Drake, founder of the museum at the launch this week

Photo by Tony Mould

Photo:Old Police Cells Museum

Old Police Cells Museum

Photo by Tony Mould

Photo:Old Police Cells Museum

Old Police Cells Museum

Photo by Tony Mould

Old Police Cells season launch

By Jennifer Drury

'Must see' venue

The Old Police Cells Museum is a ‘must see’ venue for anyone interested in the history of the city. It is located in the basement of Brighton Town Hall and a visit will definitely both educate and entertain. It was Brighton Borough's main police station from 1830 to 1967 and it certainly provides a remarkable insight into the business of policing.

Wealth of memorabilia

You can see some of the old cells; one even has a rather spooky incumbent. The cell walls are covered with graffiti, much of it from the Mods and Rockers era. There is a wealth of police memorabilia and artefacts. The museum also houses a unique display of truncheons and tipstaffs which is one of the largest collections in the country. You will also be able to see the place where Chief Constable Henry Solomon was murdered in 1844 by a suspect in custody.

Admission details

Admission to the Old Police Cells Museum is free, but visitors are encouraged to make a suitable donation. You may visit on Tuesday to Saturday and guided tours begin at 10.3Oam; please telephone the Town Hall on 01273 291052. Special group visits and events may also be arranged for schools, colleges, community groups, and conferences.

Find out more at the Old Police Cells Museum website

This page was added on 31/03/2014.
Comments about this page

This is a fabulous tour and I would urge anyone with an interest in local history to go on it. We did the tour a few years back and loved it, there is a lot to see and if you are interested in the 60s' 'Mods & Rockers' era then you have to have a close look on the cell walls at the graffiti, I spotted 'Dave the Rocker 1965' among others. It is good to be able to have a look downstairs in the Town Hall anyway and try and imagine what it was like when it was a police station. The outside is featured a lot in the 1961 film 'Jigsaw' starring Jack Warner. At the end of the film there's a shot of him walking up Little East Street and in the scene you can see the windows with 'POLICE' etched onto them which you can still see to this day. It is a very good film but unavailable on DVD, maybe someone will show it at the Brighton Festival one year.

By Paul Clarkson (01/04/2014)

Brings back memories - I got accused of throwing a firework in the street on bonfire night and the police locked me up in there. I would not have minded but I did not do it. Anyway they made me plead guilty the next day and I got fined 5 shillings in the court above.

By Dennis Fielder (02/04/2014)

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.