Barnsley - West Riding

Drill Hall, Eastgate

2nd Volunteer Battalion, Yorkshire and Lancashire Regiment
C and E Companies 5th York & Lancaster
ds 'C' Squadron Yorkshire Dragoons

The Barnsley Volunteer Rifle Corps was formed on 13th July 1860, becoming the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, Yorkshire and Lancashire Regiment in 1881, later C and E Companies 5th York & Lancaster.

The Drill Hall was constructed on Eastgate at a cost of £4,300, which was raised by public conscription. The foundation stone was laid on 30th May 1896 by Col. Spencer Stanhope and the building opened on 29th October 1897. Kelly, 1912, confirms the Eastgate address.

The opening was reported the following day in the Leeds Mercury of 30th October, 1897:

New Volunteers’ Hall at Barnsley

‘The new drill hall of the Barnsley Volunteers which has been completed nearly 12 months was formally opened by Colonel Stanhope C.B., on Wednesday.

‘The premises have been built at a cost of more than £4,000, towards which £1,937-7s-10d has been raised. They comprise on the street level a drill hall 85 ft by 45 ft, with a drill shed of similar dimensions beneath it. An armoury, smoke-room, officer’s rooms, clothing-rooms, caretaker’s premises etc., are also provided. About £2,300 is to be raised to meet the cost.

‘At the opening ceremony there was a large and representative attendance. Major Senior having presented a silver key, the gift of the architect (Mr. H. Crawshaw) with which to open the door, Colonel Stanhope expressed his pleasure at having such a duty put upon him. He, (Colonel Stanhope) contrasted the Volunteer force now with the movement at the beginning, when they were really merely Volunteer rifle-shooting companies. The pressure now put upon the country from, sad to say, the ill-feeling shown by many foreign nations, had awakened us to the necessity of looking after our defence. The Volunteers were an essential element in the assurance they had to pay for their security.

‘The door was then opened, and the large room, beautifully furnished for a bazaar, was entered, and the bazaar was opened by Lord Milton. A public luncheon followed, and dramatic and other entertainments, most of the best-known families in the district taking part in the proceedings, through some member or other, as stallholders, assistants, and performers.’

[Information kindly supplied by Alan Longbottom]

The building was sold to the Barnsley Chronicle in the 1990s.
Postcard of Barnsley Drill Hall, posted 1906.
Postcard of Barnsley Drill Hall, posted 1906.
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