Drill Halls: A National Overview

Author(s): Katie Carmichael

This report examines the history and development of drill halls as a building type, providing a national context for their assessment. For the purpose of this document, a drill hall is defined as a purpose-built facility for the training of members of the Army’s volunteer forces c.1859 onward. Drill halls vary greatly in style and provision of space but always incorporate a large open hall for drilling, administrative rooms and, often, accommodation for a caretaker or drill instructor as well as an indoor rifle range. Most drill halls closed following a reduction in the size of the Territorial Army after the Second World War. Many were demolished while others were sold and converted to new uses whilst many drill halls still in use by the reserve forces have suffered a loss of character through alterations – particularly to fenestration and access. The report aims to provide a national overview of the building type to assist in the assessment the significance of individual drill halls in order to inform planning and designation decision-making by English Heritage and local authorities, but will also be of general historical interest.

Report Number:
Research Report
Modern Military Training Site


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