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Neville Malkin's "Grand Tour" of the Potteries

buildings in and around Newcastle-under-Lyme


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previous: Holy Trinity Church, Newcastle
contents: index of buildings in and around Newcastle-under-Lyme

 

No 22 - The Barracks, Newcastle

The Barracks, Friars Road, Newcastle in c.1910
The Barracks, Friars Road, Newcastle in c.1910

picture: Staffordshire Arts & Museum Service
Staffordshire Past Track
 

Originally named Friars Road and later renamed Barracks Road in recognition of  the Barracks.

The Italian styled Militia Barracks were built in 1855 from red brick. The Barracks were the headquarters of the 3rd King's Own Staffordshire Rifle Regiment, which assembled annually at Newcastle for training, until 1880. In 1882 W.H. Dalton bought the Barracks and settled them in trust for use by the Rifle Volunteers of Newcastle, which became the Territorial Force in 1907.

 The original police barracks were at the back of the Guildhall on Market Square. These were demolished in 1867 to make way for the covered market. The military barracks on Friar's Terrace became vacant in 1882, so the police moved in. This is now the site of the headquarters of the County Library.
 

 In 2002 the Barracks had been let and contained small businesses.
 

Now a grade II listed building with the following description.....

NEWCASTLE UNDER LYME SJ8545NW BARRACKS ROAD 644-1/11/1 (East side) 27/09/72

Former Militia Barracks II Former militia barracks now in use as craft workshops. 1855. Red brick with stone dressings and plain tiled roof. A series of 2-storeyed and single storeyed blocks arranged round a quadrangle, with 3-storeyed towers at angles.

Street range has central projecting entrance with round arched doorway and turret over, carried on stone corbels and with hipped roof. This section is flanked by 3 bays with 3 and 1-light round arched stone mullioned windows on each floor, and a corbelled string course. Angle towers of 3 storeys and 2 bays. Series of axial stacks. Overhanging eaves.

On the inside of the quadrangle, lower blocks link this principal range with the return ranges, with main blocks of 5 bays. All these have a series of doors at ground floor, and stone mullioned windows flanking and above. The side blocks are linked by lower ranges to the rear corner towers, and the rear range has a central 2-storeyed range of 3 bays with doorway flanked by small windows. The building was built as the local militia and fire brigade headquarters.

 

The Barracks, Newcastle
The Barracks, Newcastle
pen drawing by Neville Malkin - June 1975

 


The Barracks, Barracks Road, Newcastle - April 2009
 


"This building could quite easily be mistaken for some fortress in an early movie or even the prototype for a kiddies' fort, but, in fact, it is the Italian-style Barracks in Newcastle, built in 1855.

The stern-looking brick exterior of this garrison encloses a large drill square approached through a castellated tower. It was originally the headquarters of the local militia, a force of local volunteers who could be called out in emergencies. Such local militia wore uniforms that looked remarkably like those worn by the US Cavalry of cinema repute; such volunteers were common throughout England until 1907, when they were superseded by the Territorial Army. The King's Own Staffordshire Rifle Regiment, who had muzzle-loading guns, occupied this building until 1880 when they were followed by a succession of volunteer forces. Now the premises provide useful accommodation for Remploy Ltd.

This building was also the HQ for the fire brigade until the 1890s, when they moved into purpose-built premises. Newcastle's concern for fire and its consequences was clearly demonstrated in 1623 when leading citizens were required to possess a leather bucket for the purpose of combating outbreaks of fire. The mid-17th century saw the introduction of fire-lookers and a few years later fines of 2 were imposed on those who failed to keep their chimneys in good order. But it was not until about 1740 that the town acquired its first manual fire engine; not until 1819 was the use of thatch on buildings forbidden. In the 1840s, the superintendent of police, who was then in charge of the fire service, had two fire-engines and 20 or more firemen under his control. More modern appliances were gradually introduced during the mid-19th century; finally, in 1888, a volunteer fire brigade was formed that detached itself from police administration."

 

Neville Malkin 18th June 1975

 

 

 


 



The stern-looking brick exterior of this garrison encloses a large drill square approached through a castellated tower.



the drill square - originally the headquarters of the local militia, a force of local volunteers who could be called out in emergencies

 


the view back onto Barracks Road (originally Friars Road)  


 

 

 


next: The Guildhall, Newcastle
previous: Holy Trinity Church, Newcastle
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