Gloucester Road Drill Hall

Photo:The former Drill Hall

The former Drill Hall

Photo by Peter Crowhurst

Home to the Sussex Artillery

By Peter Crowhurst, North Laine resident

What is now a block of recently built apartments was once home to the Brighton Corps of the Sussex Artillery, who moved into the building in 1869.The site had been an iron foundry owned in the late 1860s by Charles and John Reed (who at various times owned the foundry in North Road).

The site was acquired by Chalres Hannington in his role as Commanding Officer of the Sussex Volunteer Artillery and converted for use by the volunteers who had been founded in 1859 following the threat of war with France. The building was refurbished to include an officers' mess, rest rooms for the different ranks and a main and a smaller hall. The site remained home to the Artillery Volunteers until following the creation of the Territorial Army at the beginning of the c20th it became home to the 1st Sussex Royal Garrison Artillery and later also the Home Counties Army Service Corps. The building remained in the service of the Territorials until 1949 after which it was used as offices for Nestle & Co and a warehouse for Surridge Dawson before being turned into apartments  after 1999.

This page was added on 03/05/2008.

May I rather belatedly point out, if it matters, that the former Surridge Dawson buildings, including the Drill Hall, are not actually "apartments"? There is one flat, above the entrance gate; but 11 of the 12 properties are actually classed as houses - I live in one.

By Bruce A Smith
On 30/09/2011

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.