(* see comment below)
HQ,1,2 Cheshire Batteries (1st & 2nd) Royal Field Artillery, Ammunition
Column Cheshire Bde
Foregate street HQ, ds B Cheshire (Earl of Chester's) Yeomanry Territorial
Head quarters, B Squadron (Kelly 1896)
A,B Sect Welsh Border Mounted Brigade
Famb RAMC (in 1909 listed as St Michaels hall, Volunteer st)
Territorial Force 5th (Earl of Chester's) Battalion Cheshire Regiment;
head quarters, the Drill hall, Volunteer st. (Kelly 1914) HQ,B,E 5
Cheshire 39 Pepper street Artillery Volunteers 1st Cheshire & Carnarvonshire
(Southern division) Royal Artillery; head quarters
position battery, No. 2 Company (Kelly 1896)
HQ A-E 2 VB Cheshire (Kelly 1896) The Volunteer Drill Hall was situated
in the centre of Chester, where Volunteer street meets Albion street.
These streets were to front and rear; Albion street is to the side
and it faced down Volunteer Street. *Its location is described variously
at each location, often within the same directory.
In the south-east of the intramural area a small group of new streets
was built on the former gardens of the Albion Hotel: Albion Place,
Albion Street, and Volunteer Street were laid out in the mid 1860s
and Steele Street was added in the 1880s, partly on the site of Roberts'
and Wilkinson's Courts. All four streets had terraced working-class
housing. The centrepiece of the area was the new Volunteer Drill Hall,
erected by public subscription in 1869 at a cost of £2,500. Built
of red sandstone in an 'Edwardian castellated' style, it was for the
use of the Chester Artillery and Rifle Volunteers. An extension of
the building through to Duke Street in the 1900s resulted in the demolition
of almshouses and two courts. Only the front elevation survived in
A description of Chester, 1874, states: 'The DRILL HALL is entered
from Pepper street, and contains a lofty and spacious room, 100 feet
long and 60 feet wide, lighted from the roof; the floor is concrete,
which is well suited for the purpose of drill. It has a castellated
front, with tower on the left side, through which is the main entrance,
sufficiently wide to admit the Volunteers in full marching order,
four abreast. The tower contains apartments for the armourer, and
on the basement a small powder magazine and the armoury, in which
are 770 stand of arms. A Reading Room, Committee Room, and other offices,
and Orchestra overlook the large hall, which is convenient for banquets,
concerts, &c. Messrs. Kelly and Edwards were the architects, and the
late Mr. Robert Bellis the builder. The cost was about £2,000.'
Kelly, 1914, describes the above building being in 'Albion st, erected
1869 at a cost of about £2,500; it is a building of stone with embattled
front and a tower.' 'It was refloored in 1891 with wood at a cost
of about £400.' And also has 'a dwelling house for the hall keeper.'
But Kelly then lists 'head quarters, The Drill hall, Volunteer st.
' There is no mention of a military unit based there by 1914, but
Kelly 1914 lists 'James Joseph Rahill, hall keeper.
' The facade remains (2005). It is the curious turreted building you
can see at the end of Albion Street. The conversion has been re-named
A planning application exists for the 'Former Drill Hall, Albion Street,
Chester: Retention of façade with formation of new residential development.
CHESTER CITY (IM) SJ4066SE ALBION STREET 595-1/4/26 (South side) Albion
Mews GV II Drill hall. 1868. By James Harrison, built from public
subscriptions. Converted to flats mid C20. Stone-dressed brick, largely
painted, with grey slate roof. 2 storeys plus added recessed Mansard-roofed
attic; 3 storey gatehouse tower at east end has red sandstone archway
with moulded arrises to jambs and double-chamfered voussoirs; battered
buttresses; a 2m brick plinth to west wing, now rendered; a rectangular
loop and 3 stone cross-windows to the first storey. 3 recessed panels
with blank shields, a stone cross-window with pointed upper lights
and a quatrefoil in a recessed stone circlet above the archway. The
second storey has a 1-light transomed stone window and 3 cross-windows
with shouldered arch, pointed arch and shouldered arch to upper lights.
The crenellated parapet to the west wing has a small square turret
at the west corner with machicolated crenels. The third storey of
the gatehouse has a 2-light mullioned window, a crenellated parapet
and a corner turret with machicolated crenels. Gatehouse archway has
double cross-boarded doors. The east side is English garden wall bond.