Portland place
Lowther street

B Squadron Westmorland & Cumberland Yeomanry

Headquarters and B Squadron Westmorland & Cumberland Yeomanry were in the Drill hall, Portland place. Kelly, 1914, gives ‘head quarters 191 Lowther street.’

According to a contemporary report, ‘The Drill Hall in Portland Place is quite a recent acquisition to the town. It was erected in 1893 at a cost of £3,000, raised by public subscription, and from the Volunteer Fund. It has sitting accommodation for 1,700, and is used for concerts, balls, &c., &c.’

Kelly, 1914, describes ‘The Public Drill and Concert Hall, in Portland place, erected in 1893 at a cost, including site, of over £3,000, is a building of stone from designs of Messrs. Watson and Son, architects, of Penrith. There is a clear floor space for drilling purposes of 83 feet by 52 feet, spanned by a steel roof, and the buildings include a dwelling house for the drill sergeant, officers' rooms arranged on each side of the main entrance, and an armoury over the whole; new offices are now (1914) in course of erection. The hall serves as the head quarters of D Company of the 4th Battalion Border Regiment comprising 133 officers and men. The Westmorland & Cumberland Yeomanry and the B Squadron of the regiment have also head quarters in the town.’

The drill hall was badly damaged by fire in 1963 and later demolished. The site is now occupied by Voreda House (used by Inland Revenue and other government agencies). (2006) We are grateful to Sidney Chapman, Museum Co-Curator, Penrith, for this information.
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The Drill Hall Project - Charting a neglected legacy