Report - West Ham Magistrates' and Coroners' court, Stratford, London - May 2015

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28DL Regular User
Regular User
Jul 10, 2014

After being told I had an unexpected day off (even after turning up and getting pretty annoyed) I bailed and picked my brain for something to do, don't know why but I remember seeing this a while ago after looking for something else and thinking it was a bit far gone and sort of forgetting about it for a bit. Then SpaceGypsy put it up as a lead and yet again I forgot. Then a 6 hour wait until I met up with Boomstick84 edged me onto doing it. Was it worth it? Hell yeah.

A good time this has been sitting here, seems London keep hiding stuff like this! Go look down that side road or that drive, who knows what's there.

Big big thanks for SpaceGypsy! Was a big help!


West ham court house, also know as West ham Magistrates' or West ham Police and Coroner's court was a Yellow brick Victorian era Italianate Court house built in 1884 with arched windows, narrow symmetrical facade and a long thin plan, which was repeated in mirror image for the coroners court and other buildings. Each entrance had a coat of arms above it. Designed by the architect Lewis Angell, who at the time was a Borough Engineer from 1867 to 1899, It was later extended by a different architect, John Morley in 1901 which included a new frontage.

The courts officially opened in 1885.

West ham obtained it's own Stipendiary Magistrate under the provisions of the Stipendiary Magistrates Act 1863, Before the court house was built. This Stipendiary ceased from 1954 (Due to the joint appointment with East Ham).

This becomes the West Ham Magistrates' Court of the Newham Division of the North East London Area of Petty Sessions.

Eventually, East Ham obtained its own Magistrates' Court with court buildings in the Town Hall complex and a Stipendiary Magistrate was appointed. From c.1943 -1954 a Stipendiary served the East Ham and West Ham Courts jointly. The appointment ceased in both East Ham and West Ham from 1954.

The court continued as the East Ham Magistrates' Court in the North East London Area organisation after 1965, but was eventually phased out.

Also in 1965, West Ham lost its Quarter Sessions and Recorder, and its own Coroner. The East Ham and West Ham Independent Magistrates' Courts came under the North East London Area of Petty Sessions as indicated above. There is now one Eastern London Coroners Courts for the London Boroughs of Barking, Havering, Newham, Redbridge and Waltham Forest, at Queens Road, Walthamstow, E.17. (A new magistrates' court was built in the late 1990s in High Street, Stratford).

There's not much online about official closure, but from other council reports and documents, I can only asuume eventually, due to the new court house, it seemed West Ham coroners court was phased out until 2010 when it finally was left vacant.

It was Grade 2 listed in the 1980's as being a historical building. But that didn't stop the fire in December 2013 from gutting court room 2 and destroying the upper floors.

2014 saw minor conservation work such as scaffolding holding up court room 1 and a temporary roof to prevent further decay.

It is part of a conservation prder and plan of the Stratford area but as of now not much has been done.

Convictions and Criminal History

Notable convictions include the Rolling Stones, Here is a small section of text from an article: “The band were passing through the area after a gig in Romford, and wanted to take a pee. Denied access to a toilet, three of the band took matters into their own hands, and left their mark on the wall of a local service station. Three of the group were subsequently arrested and four months later fined £5 each, at West Ham magistrates court, for "insulting behaviour".” - See more at:

Here, in this book you can see a few of the cases taken out inside West Ham Coroners' and Magistrates' court: ham magistrates Court coroners&pg=PA447#v=onepage&q&f=true

If the link doesn't work, it's Chapter 19 (A matter of confidence) Part 1 (I). Page 447 to 451

A good read and after reading only one page and finishing this report, I'll be off to order myself a copy on Kindle.

My Visit

Time needed to be killed unexpectedly, spontanious but, proper exploring! Did not expect this, maybe it's all a bit naff, but I thoroughly enjoyed turning that corner and literally gasping at the sight of that cell door with all the graf on it. Incredible history and if the council or whoever is reading this, I will litterally buy that door off of you and install it at home! :thumb

But yeah, didn't know this was a court house, AND there is more to see, some more really nice things are hiding in there. Go see! Just don't go upstairs, no really, don't...


Finally at the snaps! Cheers for getting this far,

The frontage



The more derp of the building





Court 2, Minus a roof



Remains of the wooden clad décor


Hey, that door on the Left looks a little suspicious... I



That door!





More doors!




Court 1, unfortunately scaffold restricts your view, but, gets you close to the décor.



Cellars need more exploring



Thanks for looking, but we're not done yet due to lack of time, I mentioned something else earlier. Watch this space.​
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28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
May 22, 2014
Can't believe I lived down the road from this place for two years, and only discovered it last month!

Dude, amazing research! :D I spent a good week reseaching it and couldn't really find much. And the pics rock!


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Jul 10, 2014
Can't believe I lived down the road from this place for two years, and only discovered it last month!

Dude, amazing research! :D I spent a good week reseaching it and couldn't really find much. And the pics rock!
All thanks to you! Wonder if it's the same deal with East Ham Magistrates'...


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
May 22, 2014
You know how we assumed it's been vacant since 2010, well thinking about it, I'd say it's been vacant for at least a decade. Just look at the state of the walls! Must have been longer than 5 years....

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