These London Buildings All Used To Be Fire Stations

These London Buildings All Used To Be Fire Stations

With redbrick facades and gorgeous arched doorways, London's former fire stations are often easily identifiable. Some even still have their original red doors, or carvings over the doorways giving a hint as to their original purpose. Many have repurposed due to the significant fire station closures in recent years, being used as restaurants, flats and community centres. Note: we've only included fire station buildings which are still standing — plenty have been demolished entirely.

Former Bethnal Green Fire Station

Photo: London Buddhist Centre

London Buddhist Centre opened in 1978 in the former Bethnal Green Fire Station on London Road. The building had been disused since 1968, having been built as a fire station in 1889.

The current Bethnal Green Fire Station is still functioning further west on Roman Road, albeit in a far less elegant building.

Bishopsgate

Photo: roll the dice

Ever been in the Tesco Metro opposite Liverpool Street station? The building used to be Bishopsgate Fire Station. The upper floors are now offices.

It was in use as a fire station between 1885 and 1964, closing when a replacement station was opened in nearby Barbican.

Brompton

The NHS has taken over the old Brompton Fire Station, putting it to use at the Royal Brompton Centre for Sleep, a sleep disorder clinic. It's situated on the quiet South Parade, just off Fulham Road, and functioned as a fire station from 1893-1964. Once again, it's Grade II listed.

Brunswick Road

Photo: Tetramesh

Built in 1911 on what is now Gillender Street, the Grade II listed Brunswick Road Fire Station has been converted into flats. It was one of 43 new stations built when the London Fire Brigade expanded following the Cripplegate fire of 1897.

Hampstead

Hampstead Fire Station in 1906 and 2010. Photo: Tetramesh

Look uphill from Hampstead station and you can't fail to notice the redbrick clock tower. It was part of the original Hampstead Fire Station, built around 1873. The clock tower was also used as a watchtower — one of the first London fire stations to have one.

The ground floor is now a Nationwide bank, and the upper floors were once used as a hotel, but have now been converted into flats. It's Grade II listed.

West Hampstead Fire Station, on West End Lane, is still very much functioning.

Former Holloway

Photo: Geoff Holland

Holloway's current station is on Hornsey Road, but its previous incarnation was situated at 84 Mayton Street. This station was in use between 1908 and 1974, and has since been converted to flats, with a community centre on the ground floor.

Former Lewisham Fire Station

The old fire station at 340 Lewisham High Street was built in 1898 and in use until 1956, when it was replaced by the current Lewisham Fire Station, further north on the same road. It provided accommodation for the on-call firefighters, and stabling for their horses. The ground floor is used as offices, while the upper floors are housing, and it's Grade II listed.

Manchester Square

The Chiltern Firehouse in 2016. Click through and scroll down to see the building before restoration. Photo: shadow_in_the_water

Perhaps the best-known fire station-to-restaurant transformation is Marylebone's Grade II listed Chiltern Firehouse. The eatery and hotel so beloved by celebrities is set in the former Marylebone Fire Station (also known as Manchester Square Fire Station), which was built in 1889 as one of London's first purpose-built fire stations. It was decommissioned in 2005, and used as a temporary exhibition space before being restored and converted to the Chiltern Firehouse.

Former Millwall Fire Station/Isle Of Dogs Fire Station

Photo: The Old Fire Station

The aptly-named Old Fire Station bistro and bar on Westferry Road is situated in the old Millwall Fire Station building. The station opened in 1905, replacing a nearby fire station which was built in 1877, but quickly became too small.

The 1905 building was closed in 2006 when the newer Millwall Fire Station opened, located just down the road from this one, at 43 Westferry Road. The upper storeys were turned into flats, while the bistro opened on the ground floor.

Island History has a more thorough account of the history of Millwall Fire Station.

Perry Vale

Where Perry Vale meets Perry Rise in Forest Hill sits the former Perry Vale Fire Station. If it weren't for the large, garage-like doors, it would be hard to tell this apart from the neighbouring residential buildings. It opened as a residential fire station in 1901, housing firefighters and their families, and closed 70 years later. It was used as a council office until 2008, after which initial development plans were rejected, but has since been converted into housing.

Scotland Yard

It's an address more often associated with the Police, but Great Scotland Yard was home to a fire station between 1884 and 1922.

The building has been used by the Civil Service Club, a members only bar, restaurant and hotel, since 1953.

Former Shoreditch Fire Station

Shoreditch Fire Station was housed in this building where Tabernacle Street meets Paul Street between 1896 and 1964. When the new Shoreditch Fire Station opened just around the corner in Old Street, this once was closed down.

It housed pizza restaurant Yard until that closed in December 2016, but in May 2017 it remains disused.

Southwark

The former Southwark Fire Station sits on Southwark Bridge Road, north of Lant Street. It has been empty since it closed down in 2014, but in early 2017, plans were put forward to transform it, and some of the neighbouring buildings into a secondary school, housing, a gym and other uses. It's Grade II listed.

Stoke Newington Fire Station

The current Stoke Newington Fire Station on Church Street was built to replace the former station, which was built in 1885 and closed in 1973. Situated on Leswin Road, it's now used as a community centre and nursery.

Tooley Street

Photo: Brigade

This Tooley Street building was one of the oldest fire stations in London, built when the Metropolitan Fire Brigade was first formed in 1866. Prior to this, individual fire insurance companies would put out fires in the buildings insured with them, while leaving other buildings to burn.

Today it's... a restaurant (don't worry — even professional food critics get London's various fire station based restaurants mixed up). More specifically it's a bar and bistro, and a good one at that — it's a training kitchen, offering apprenticeships to homeless people, giving them the skills they need to find employment.

Waterloo

Photo: Past London

If you can't get yourself a table at Chiltern Firehouse, try The Fire Station in Waterloo instead. Situated right next to Waterloo station, the bar and restaurant is popular with after-work drinkers. Built as a fire station in 1910 to replace a fire and ambulance station that had stood on the same spot previously, it still has features which hark back to its youth, including the tiled lettering over the door, and fire buckets hanging from the ceiling inside. It's Grade II listed.

Photo: roll the dice

Westminster

Photo: sinister dexter

This listed 1906 building on Greycoat Place functioned as a fire station for more than a century, before being one of 10 stations that closed in January 2014. In December 2016, planing permission was granted for a restaurant in the ground floor and basement, and 16 apartments on the upper floors. Prior to this fire station being built, there was another station on nearby Francis Street.

Westcombe Park/Greenwich

Image: Chestertons

The Old Fire Station apartments at the junction of Tunnel Avenue and Woolwich Road have a pretty obvious past. Little information is available about the history of the fire station, but there were plans to turn the building into a hotel. This wasn't thought to be financially feasible so it was converted into 45 flats instead.

West Wickham

Photo: Joe Dunckley

This was quite a short-lived station, serving for 30 years between 1938 and 1968. When it was decommissioned, it was used as a caravan shop until taken over by the Crittenden family in 1969 to be used as a furniture shop — it's still a furniture shop today.

Whitefriars/Carmelite Street

Whitefriars Fire Station opened on Carmelite Street in the City in 1887 and closed in 1964. It's not listed, and is today used as an office block.

These are only a few of London's former fire stations. Let us know which ones we've missed, or if you have any further information about any the ones we've mentioned here, in the comments below.

See also: London buildings which used to be:

Last Updated 18 May 2017

Antony Eves

The old Hammersmith fire station is still standing on the Shephards bush road is a Wagamama restaurant.

Antony Eves

Also the old Shooters Hill fire station still stands as flats.

John Martin

I served in Essex and we have a few old buildings that are no longer Fire Stations but these are just beautiful buildings.

Andrew Rush

There's Friern Barnet Station, Friern Barnet Lane https://www.google.co.uk/ma...
and the old New Barnet Station was in Leicester Road, New Barnet (next to an Ambulance Station), before moving to its current location at 144 Station Road. https://goo.gl/images/hQW1zt