Scotland Yard

New Scotland Yard

New Scotland Yard

For my next scene, I needed to have a better understanding of the layout of Scotland Yard, so chased down the architect – Richard Norman Shaw, and found some very interesting documents about him.

I also found some data here at http://postwarbuildings.com and compared it to Wikipedia and a few others:

The original New Scotland Yard was at Whitehall. In 1890, the Metropolitan Police moved into Norman Shaw’s celebrated purpose-built headquarters overlooking the Thames on the newly built Victoria Embankment. Described by one commentator as, ‘a very constabulary kind of castle,’[1] it was an eclectic building typical of the emerging Arts and Crafts movement of the late 19th century with numerous busy motifs. It was finished in striped red brick with Portland stone and characterised by a skyline of turrets and a steep roof patterned by dormers and lofty chimneys. The original building provided 140 offices and they were assigned according to rank. High-ranking officers were given rooms within the turrets overlooking the river or larger rooms close to ground floor, while lower ranking officers were consigned to smaller rooms higher up. The original single building was joined by two extensions both overseen by the Met surveyor and closely mimicking Shaw’s design. Despite the much-enlarged complex, as early as the 1930’s there were complaints of overcrowding and the force eventually left the site for the present building on Victoria Street in 1967.

That image above comes from the Metropolitan Police Service’s page on the history of Scotland Yard.

I also found this detailed PDF of the history of the Norman Shaw buildings here.

Interestingly, the New Scotland Yard was supposedly “the first public building in its entirety to be lit by electricity. [3] This electricity was provided by its own generator, thus freeing it from any interruption to its telegraph and later its 999 emergency system.” – historyhouse.co.uk which is important to this casebook (see my post on Vaults for a hint as to why 😉

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