Until the 19th century Cranford was a small village on the Bath Road (now the A4) - the main route leading into London from the west. Robbers preyed on wealthy travellers going in and out of the city, and when they were caught, the local constable locked them up in this small, dark, cold ‘Highwayman’s Cage’. As police stations were built across London lock ups went out of use, and this was a lucky survival – very nearly removed when the land was developed in the 1930s.
The door and iron-barred window were broken and thick ivy covered the roof. Its roots had dug deep into the mortar, the brickwork was damp and cracked and it was piled with rubbish inside.
The project features in Secrets of London episode: Highwayman's Lock up!.
THANKS TO HOLT...
HOLT worked closely with Hounslow Council, giving a grant, advising on repairs and producing an interpretation panel on its history and significance. At the end we arranged a launch party including every local faith in Hounslow, neighbours, school children and the Met Police.
The project was supported with a generous donation from The Radcliffe Trust.