4th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment (G Company) (Kelly 1913)
ds 'B' Squadron Lincolnshire Yeomanry
Horncastle Rifle Volunteers started in 1859, at first carrying out drill in various halls and the Wong, and, later, in the British School, with an 800 yard rifle range between Oaks Meadow and Champions Road. Eventually, these facilities and buildings were declared inadequate and a new Drill Hall was built on Boston road.
An engraved stone set into the front corner of the Drill Hall records:
“This stone was laid by the Right Hon. The Earl of Yarborough, The Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master of Lincolnshire with full Masonic Ceremonial on Thursday the 13th Day of June 1901 A.D. A.L. 5901”
The new Drill Hall cost £2500, raised mainly from public donations. The premises included a .22 rifle range and a sergeant-caretaker’s house. As the company grew in size, to over 100 in 1902, it developed to include brass and bugle bands and a machine gun section.
During the Great War, the Horncastle VAD used the building for a Red Cross hospital, with furniture and equipment offered by local people. It was also used in the Second World War for the rest and rehabilitation of servicemen.
This Drill Hall is now Horncastle Town Hall . On its front wall there is a Blue Plaque, which states:
1901 - New Drill Hall became the TOWN HALL 1970
This drill hall is under threat of demolition and replacement with a community building.
We are very grateful to Ken Hills for the helpful information about the Boston road Drill Hall and for the photograph.
This is listed in Kelly, 1896 and later in Kelly, 1913, as the premises of Danby & Cheseldine, carriage builders.
According to the owner, it was originally a school (circa 1900). It then became a drill hall.
After that, it was used as a coach works by Danby and Sons; the original lettering is still visible on the rear outside wall. It became an agricultural store, then Whizzkids, a play centre.
In May 2004, it was bought and turned into the Drill Hall Antiques Centre, owned by Val Ginn. This is its current use (2007).
We are grateful for permission to view the interior and take photographs.
Boston Road Drill Hall
Photograph: Ken Hills
Front elevation, Boston Road Drill Hall
Rear Elevation, Boston Road drill hall
Foundation stone, Boston Road drill hall
Commemorative plaque, Boston Road drill hall
Front elevation, South Street drill hall
South Street drill hall
South Street drill hall
Rear elevation, South Street drill hall