Drill halls originated as a building type following the formation of the Rifle Volunteer Corps in 1859. Also known as ‘drill sheds’, and commonly identified on modern Ordnance Survey maps as ‘TA Centres’, they can be defined as dedicated training facilities for the army’s volunteer units.
Most drill halls had closed following a reduction in the size of the Territorial Army after the Second World War. Subsequently many were demolished while others were sold and converted to new uses. As a result of restructuring many drill halls are likely to become surplus to requirements and are expected to be demolished or substantially altered.
Listing offers them protection. It also acknowledges that they are a part of our identity and help to tell our country’s story.
What drill halls did we look at?
After extensive research we assessed a total of 32, resulting in the addition of 9 drill halls to the National Heritage List for England (NHLE).
In addition to the nine that have been listed, two additional drill halls, which were highlighted for consideration, were already found to be listed. They are:
What drill halls are now listed?
- Crewe Drill Hall, Myrtle Street, Crewe, Cheshire
- Former Drill Hall, Victoria Road, Ulverston, Cumbria
- Former Portland Drill Hall, Easton Lane, Portland, Dorset
- Former St Mary’s Drill Hall, St Mary’s Road, Southampton, Hampshire
- Blackburn Drill Hall, Canterbury Street, Blackburn, Lancashire
- Former Drill Hall, Castlebergh Hall, Settle, North Yorkshire
- Oakham Drill Hall, Penn Street, Oakham, Rutland
- St Paul’s Drill Hall, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
- Keighley Drill Hall, Drill Street, Keighley, West Yorkshire
What drill halls were not listed?
- Eastgate Drill Hall, Barnsley
- Ampthill Drill Hall, Woburn Street, Ampthill, Bedfordshire
- Former Drill Hall, Greenway Road, Runcorn, Cheshire
- Moresk Road Army Reserve Centre, Truro, Cornwall
- Carn Bosavern Drill Hall, St Just, Cornwall
- Former Drill Hall, Westgate Street, Launceston, Cornwall
- Drill Hall, Esplanade, Sidmouth, Devon
- Former Barracks and attached Drill Hall, Marabout Barracks, Dorchester, Dorset
- Former St Leonards Drill Hall, Southwater Road, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex
- Former Seaford Drill Hall, Broad Street, Seaford, East Sussex
- Londesborough Barracks, Londesborough Street, Hull
- Former Phoenix Street Drill Hall, Lancaster, Lancashire
- Melton Mowbray Drill Hall, Ashfordby Road, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire
- Former Drill Hall, Haverfield Road, Spalding, Lincolnshire
- Drill Hall, Main Ridge West, Boston, Lincolnshire
- Drill Hall, Benefield Road, Oundle, Northamptonshire
- Former Drill Hall, Green Park Street, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire
- Townsend Avenue Drill Hall, Norris Green, Liverpool, Merseyside
- Mather Avenue Drill Hall, Liverpool, Merseyside
- Former Southwold Drill Hall, St Edmund's Road, Southwold, Suffollk
- Ashton-under-Lyne Armoury, Old Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, Tameside
- Former Drill Hall and Territorial Force Headquarters, Park Road, Rugby, Warwickshire
- Former Drill Hall, Mount Pleasant, Bilston, West Midlands
We published an Introduction to the Heritage Asset: Drill Halls in June 2015. This is an accessible, authoritative, well-illustrated summary of our current understanding of this particular building type.
Also of interest...
Historic England is currently identifying the most significant examples of drill halls with a view to protecting them for the future.
Find out what we consider when recommending a building or site for listing.
See some of the hundreds of historic treasures that we have protected through listing in the last year.