An “imposing” building once used as a police station has gone up for sale in one of Bristol’s most sought-after postcodes. The huge detached period property just on the edge of Brandon Hill park, which dates from 1836, still has a row associated with cells intact where detained suspects were held.

It will be auctioned off by Hollis Morgan estate agents, who say it holds “an unique opportunity to create an iconic family home or residential development” if planning permission is secured. Alternatively they say it also has the potential for a “wide range of commercial uses”, also subject to consent.

The Old Police Station along Jacob’s Wells Road in Clifton , sold with vacant possession, has a guide price starting at £650, 000. Agents say in the listing : “The property was occupied as a police station for many years and used as the Avon Wildlife Trust headquarters from 1986 until June 2022 – [it is] now vacant.

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“We understand the property originally comprised two buildings, incorporating the police station to the rear and a residential cottage to the front. ” They say the property is understood to be locally listed, within the conservation area and the local residents’ parking scheme.

A video tour of the property takes the viewer through a maze of empty rooms and hallways, taking in a courtyard area and down some dingy-looking stone stairs to what looks like an outdoor cell or store room. Back inside and behind another door lies a long stone room along which there are seven police cells, each with a ‘window’ of blue bars allowing the occupant a glimpse beyond their own four walls.

It encompasses 5444sqft of space over two floors with a small basement, an enclosed garden plus another garden overlooking Jacob’s Wells Road. One of the largest rooms is a bright, hall-like space with high ceilings.

Avon Wildlife Trust had used the building as its headquarters since 1985, when it was opened by Sir David Attenborough. It announced earlier this year that it had downsized and moved to Great George Street on the other side of Brandon Hill.

At the time, a spokesperson for the trust said: “The Old Police Station office was bursting with character and will always be a special place for the organisation. However , as we look to the future and embrace new ways of working, it’s time to move on. ”

Auctioneer Andrew Morgan said: “Just as you think you have sold all the interesting plus unusual properties in the area – the next one arrives on your desk and the adrenaline starts to flow again!

“Having driven past the Old Police Station for decades I never appreciated or even realised its existence in this hidden enclave. Located in one of the most interesting and iconic settings of historic marine Bristol, one can just imagine the ships coming up the River Avon with their cargoes and a crew of men ready to enjoy the delights and pleasures found in this part of Bristol within the early part of the nineteenth century!

“No doubt some of them were banged up in the cells of this imposing property, quintessentially typical of that period. ” Considering what could become of the property in future, he added: “With over five thousand square feet of accommodation would this be an amazing house or will it be a development opportunity or will it be a centre for some unique commercial enterprise?

“With no planning history to date purchasers have a blank canvas to seek their own planning advice and submit their own planning applications. What an opportunity. ”

The auction will take place online at 5. 30pm on Wednesday, February 15 but viewings will commence from January. Scroll down to see more photos from inside.