4. Old Fire Station
Stony Stratford - Old Fire Station Old Fire Station Plaque
Almost unnoticed in Silver Street stands a small building which for almost a hundred years between 1864 and 1958 served as Stony Stratford's Fire Station. The plaque records the contributions of the people of Stony Stratford which raised the money for the station, and its continuous use till closure.
The town suffered a series of devastating fires in 1703, 1725, 1736 and 1742 and also many minor ones. In these fires the timber framed and thatched buildings were particularly vulnerable. The fire in 1736 destroyed 53 houses mostly in Church Street and the west side of the High Street, in 1742, the fire started at the Bull Hotel -146 houses and a church were destroyed, and blazing thatch fell as far away as Old Stratford. Total damage was first estimated at £22,000. The Sun Company issued insurances to 69 people in the town between 1714 and 1741, there were possibly others but no records can be found. Towards the end of the century a new engine was needed as a receipt from the Stony Stratford Churchwardens Accounts to the Parish of Passenham in1799 stated for the sum of five pounds and five shillings, being their part towards a subscription for a Fire Engine in the Parish of Stony Stratford. This engine like its predecessor was presumably a pump on a handcart, moved by the firemen to the scene of the blaze. In case of fire the keys to the engine house were available from the Churchwardens or the local agents of the Fire Offices; County, Royal Exchange, Norwich Union, Phoenix, British and Protector. Curiously, the Sun Company did not appear to have an office in the town in 1833, but it did in 1842 when it replaced the Protector in the list of keyholders.

After the bulding lost its role as a Fire Station, it was for a while the town Library, before that role too was taken over by a new building, and the premises were adapted for other usage - currently an office.

Back to Start of Tour
Main Index