Werribee Police Station (former)
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Early in the life of Werribee a large block of land was set aside for a police station and house and other outbuildings, plus a paddock for horses, at the bottom end of Synnot Street. The 69 acre (28 hectare) block stretched from Greaves Street to the Werribee River, and an early map of the township shows that there was a Police Station there in 1857. Other buildings, including barracks, were built on the site over the years.
With time, the focus of town expansion shifted. Townspeople were no longer so dependent on water from the river, and the coming of the railway made the railway station the place where people wanted their shops and banks and houses to be. The land around the police station was little used. There was pressure on the Government to allow people to buy some of the huge space, and the Premier saw no reason why the Government should not sell off the land: ‘It has only had a horse or two on it for some time past,’ he said.
The land had, however, become a popular venue for community activities. In 1908 there was a parade of two battalions of the Victorian Cadets for Empire Day; special trains brought over 1,000 cadets from Melbourne and Geelong for the event. It was regularly used as a showground and a racecourse, and football matches were played there.
But in 1910 most of the land was divided up into blocks for housing. There were blocks of half an acre (.2 hectares) up to five acres (2 hectares), and they were soon sold, although the water supply for them came later. Many of the larger blocks have since been divided again.
A small amount of remaining land was used for varying purposes, not all of them popular. For a time it was leased to the local poultry farmers, Carters; in 1929 the Council received yet another complaint from residents about the offensive smell from steaming of meat and boiling-down of waste, and the Health Inspector and Nuisance Inspector were asked to report on the matter.
The house (at 129 Synnot Street), remains from the original complex. The two in front are of brick, with a timber one behind. The building, which is now privately owned, has been altered, but it has probably been partly dwelling and partly police station. In 2013 modern units in keeping with the gabled style were built onto the back of the original building.
Although land for a new police station and court house was bought in 1926, building was deferred because of difficult financial times. The council renewed its appeals in 1936, citing the inconvenience of buildings so far from the centre of town, and another police station and court house was finally opened in Duncan’s Road in 1938.
The current police headquarters is on the Geelong Road, on the corner of Derrimut Road.
|This Item||Relation||Item: Police House (former),
129 Synnot Street,