St Ives Police Cells Host New Occupants

Visitors to St Ives can now take up residence in what used to be the town’s police cells, thanks to interior designer Kerry Knight.

The latest triumph by the Beatengreen creator is the overhaul of Sergeant’s Retreat, part of a Victorian building which used to be the town’s Police Station – and the section which housed the custody cells.

The centrally located building was constructed in 1890 following the amalgamation of the former St Ives Borough Police into the Cornwall Constabulary; it has now been converted into three properties, which for part of the year are let by local St Ives holiday specialists The Cottage Boutique.

Another part of the building – The Old Police Station itself – was completed by Kerry earlier this year; her quirky and imaginative design scheme with pops of bold colour and eye-catching textiles received national attention, appearing in a ’25 Beautiful Homes’ summer special.

Kerry has once again applied her unique style and ‘upcycling’ skills at Sergeant’s Retreat, in response to a brief by owners Chris and Jo Russell.

Pleased with the outcome in The Old Police Station, the couple’s request was similar – they wanted a bright, cosy and interesting interior for their family and guests to enjoy.

However Kerry approaches each new project with fresh ideas and new sources of inspiration; as a result Sergeant’s Retreat has a modern Scandinavian feel to set it apart from its sister property.

Kerry explained: “I enjoy looking into the history of a building in order to emphasise the period features, juxtaposing these with contemporary design statements and throwing in eclectic touches too.”

At Sergeant’s Retreat this included creating an outside shower with the help of Sam Narbett from St Ives Builders; it has bars at the window instead of glass and Sam etched lines into the walls as if counting down the days until freedom!

The Old Police Station next door has historical framed photos of the building sourced from the St Ives Archives, and a disused phone from the same era mounted in the hallway.

Kerry’s interior schemes are praised for this level of detail and endless visual interest – for example Sergeant’s Retreat features a diverse collection of framed artwork, hand-painted furniture, locally made lampshades and carefully selected ceramics.

The interior at Sergeant’s Retreat also includes carefully sourced pieces of furniture and accessories discovered online and in local auction houses; Kerry works with an upholsterer to bring unloved chairs and other pieces back to life, introducing vintage design icons with high quality finishes.

This creative approach helps provide the perfect surroundings for a visit to St Ives, with its strong artistic heritage and multitude of galleries and exhibitions to visit.

Claire Gilbert, Managing Partner at The Cottage Boutique, commented: “Kerry’s creative approach and attention to detail in these properties really adds to their appeal; they make inspiring bases from which to explore the town for guests who have come to expect a certain standard of property from us.”

Kerry’s design also ensures that present day guests to Sergeant’s Retreat will be more comfortable than their historical counterparts, who spent their nights in less glamorous surroundings.

For more information visit or contact Kerry Knight on 07796 030232. The Old Police Station, The Studio and Sergeant’s Retreat are let through The Cottage Boutique