Hillsborough Barracks : Hussar Court
Hillsborough Barracks, Langsett Road, Sheffield, 1850-54.
Grade ll listed.
Hillsborough Barracks is a walled complex of buildings between Langsett Road and Penistone Road.
The complex covers an area of c22 acres. It was designed by HM Office of Works and dates from 1850-54. It replaced an inadequate barracks closer to the town centre at an estimated cost of £94,000.
The barracks is divided into three terraces. The first (top) terrace faces onto what is now Langsett Road. This contained the Mess establishment, quarters for around 40 officers and a similar number of servants, and a chapel. This building has a length of about 354 feet.
The other buildings of the barracks consisted of:
* A large five bedroomed house serving as the Garrison Commander’s Quarters outside the walls
* A 58-patient two-storey hospital incorporating a barracks for RAMC personnel, a Dental Clinic and a facility for treating women
* Infantry soldiers quarters
* A clock towered building, with cavalry soldiers' quarters on the first floor and stabling for 260 horses on the ground floor (total accommodation for 918 NCO and other ranks)
* A Gymnasium
* A Riding School
* A school for 80 children and accommodation for the schoolmistress
* Married quarters flats for 50 families provided outside the walls
* A gun shed housing six field guns
* The Barracks Store with living quarters for the Barracks Sergeant
* A Guard Room, incorporating a Police Room, Detention Cells, and an exercise yard
* A vehicle shed (built in 1903) which could house 26 motor cars
* A Veterinary Infirmary, large enough to house 18 horses
* A Granary
* Four cookhouses
* various workshops
The barracks had its own water supply fed from the nearby Rawson Spring on the facing hillside towards Walkley. The spring kept 21 underground tanks filled with over half a million gallons of water. The smallest tank held 12,000 gallons, the largest 50,000 gallons. It was rumoured at the time that this water supply would be for the benefit of Sheffield’s gentry who would seek refuge in the barracks in the event of an uprising.
With entrances on both Langsett and Penistone Road it was considered to be amongst the finest and best arranged barracks in the kingdom, and as a military depot it ranked amongst the largest in the country.
On the northern side of the Barracks runs the River Loxley. On the night of Friday 11 March 1864 the ill-fated Dale Dike Dam further up the Loxley Valley at Bradfield burst and the resulting flood waters breeched a stone wall that was three feet thick. The water reached a height of about 60 feet above normal river water level, and drowned two children of Sergeant Paymaster Foulds in the Married Quarters.
The last army unit left the Barracks in February 1930, leaving the Barracks unoccupied except for a resident caretaker.
On 26 July 1932 an auction was held on instruction of the War Department by Eadon & Lockwood in Sheffield. However, when bidding only reached £12,000 the auction was terminated and the Barracks was withdrawn from sale. In October of that year the complex was sold to Burdall’s Ltd, a manufacturing chemist noted for it gravy salt, and it became known as Burdall’s Buildings.
A major redevelopment of the site was embarked upon in the late 1980s. The result is the large retail and business complex seen today, in which all the surviving structures have been cleaned of the grime from Sheffield's industrial past.
The focus of the complex is Morrisons Supermarket covering the old Artillery Parade Ground, which has been roofed for the purpose and is fronted by the clock towered stable block. The old Infantry Parade Ground is now a two-storey car park between the Stable Block and the old Officer Mess (now Sheffield Insulations Ltd).
The old football ground and Rifle Range are now a B&Q DIY Superstore. The Married Quarters which served as flats until the end of the 1970s were demolished and the area is now a McDonald's Drive-through Restaurant. The Garrison Commanders’s House was demolished and its site is now a bus station.
The old Guard room is now the Garrison Hotel. The hospital building is now Skills for Business, part of Sheffield College.
Other buildings within the site serve as a Jobcentre Plus and the headquarters of the Coalfield Pensions Scheme.
The whole site is once again known as Hillsborough Barracks. As a Grade II listed building, it represents the only surviving example of a walled barracks within the UK.