Rotherham - West Riding

Wharncliffe street

5th Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment (HQ, A, B and F. Companies)

ds 'A' Squadron Yorkshire Dragoons
HQ, Battery & Ammunition Column West Riding Royal Horse Artillery

‘A Drill Hall for the Volunteers has been erected in Wharncliffe Street at a cost of £2,500; it is a handsome red brick building with stone facing, containing a large drill hall 99 feet by 80 feet, surrounded by a light but elegant gallery, and two retiring rooms at the further end of the hall, also a residence for the sergeant-instructor, with suitable accommodation for stores, officers and orderly rooms, and will seat about 2,000 persons; it is occupied by three companies (B, E & I) of the 8th West Yorks Rifle Volunteers, whose headquarters are at Doncaster.’ (Kelly, 1881)

White’s 1911 Directory lists the drill hall. The ‘Territorial Force 5th Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment (A. B. F. Companies) have their head-quarters here. The Drill Hall in Wharncliffe Street, erected in 1873 at an expense of £2,500, will hold 2,000 persons, and includes orderly and store rooms, officers’ mess, sergeants’ mess and men’s recreation room. The First company was formed in 1858, and the second in 1860, and the third in 1880.’

The Rotherham Volunteer Drill Hall was also used for dances and concerts and, from about 1910, for early film shows. The local authority bought the drill hall after the Second World War and renamed it the Clifton Hall. It was demolished in 1991 and the site is now a car park.

The Headquarters, Battery & Ammunition Column of the West Riding Royal Horse Artillery were based at Wentworth Woodhouse, a vast country house near Rotherham, which offered a large stable block. It is assumed that the Yorkshire Dragoons also used the facilities here.
Photograph not available
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The Drill Hall Project - Charting a neglected legacy