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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
26th April 1976 Neil McCallum, actor (Pete-Saber of London), dies at 45
26th April 1973 2 Gentlemen of Verona, musical opens in London
26th April 1947 Bless the Bride musical opens in London
26th April 1934 The Prince Albert, Duke of York (later King George VI) was married to Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (later The Queen Mother) in Westminster Abbey.
26th April 1928 Madame Tussaud's waxwork exhibition opens in London
26th April 1921 Born today: Harry Knutton, Maj-Gen/dir-general (London City and Guilds Institute)
26th April 1915 Italy secretly signes Pact of London with Britain, France and Russia
26th April 1890 Henry Morton Stanley inaugurated in London
The Vestry and its Cage
The location of the Vestry workhouse and prisoners Cage.
Location: Vestry Road, Walthamstow, London
Description: Vestry House, a two storey building of brown stock brick, was constructed in 1730 by order of the Vestry. This body, 'a meeting of all ratepayers in vestry assembled', had been responsible for many aspects of local government since the sixteenth century, and originally met in the church of St. Mary the Virgin at Church End.
The Vestry's responsibilities were both ecclesiastical and secular, and included providing for the poor with the rates collected from local householders.
When the Metropolitan Police 'took possession of the district' in 1840 they applied to occupy the 1756 extension of the building, and from 1841 until 1870 it served as their police station. One of the cells can still he seen in its original state complete with graffiti written on the walls by those who were locked up inside it!
In 1870 the police were transferred to a new station in Lea Bridge Road and their old premises were taken over by the Walthamstow Volunteers for use as an armoury. In 1891 they in turn moved out to a new drill hall in Church Hill Road, and the 'old armoury' as it now came to be called was then used by a local builder for the next forty years.
Nowadays the Vestry meets only once a year for the election of churchwardens.
Outside the entrance to the modern day museum is where the Old Watch House or Cage used to be, for the accommodation of prisoners overnight. It was erected in 1765 and removed in 1912.
Tagged in this Tour: Historic Walthamstow Tour