P h o t o B l o g

Monday, 16 April 2012

Ladysmith Barracks

Today's look at the world of Ashton under Lyne is of Ladysmith Barracks. Or, rather, the gates of the former Ladysmith Barracks, as the gates are all that is now left.

The barracks opened here in 1843, having previously occupied a site on Crickets Lane. At that time there was quite a bit of civil unrest when it was felt better to move the soldiers away from the town.

The barracks were renamed Ladysmith Barracks to commemorate the part the Manchester Regiment played in the Siege of Ladysmith in the Boer War.

The barracks closed in 1963 but the splendid gateway, with the golden lettering above the arch spelling out "Ladysmith Barracks", is all that now remains. The name "Ladysmith" is also used by a pub and a shopping centre in the town.

See Google Street View of this location.

"Ladysmith Barracks" is my contribution to this week's "My World" feature. Please check out the other blogs participating in this week's My World.


  1. Great post!! Boom & gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  2. History! Wonderful history!

  3. Wonderful to see.. many thanks for sharing the history.

  4. After the freedom loving peoples of the United States got their independence and then the French, it's was expected that Britain would be next. So the government built barracks all over northern industrial towns to keep the freedom loving working peoples in check.

  5. I'll bet the gate was the handsomest part of the barracks, too. Very nice.

  6. What a fascinating snippet- thanks! Lovely looking gates too.

  7. The whole truth
    The barracks were completed in 1843 at a cost of £42,000 as one of a series of barracks built in Lancashire to house cavalry regiments available to assist the civil power in times of the frequent unrest against organised working class agitation for social and political reforms. The cotton towns of Ashton-under-Lyne, Stalybridge, Dukinfield and Hyde had been important centres of Chartist activity. Work began in 1841, the stone for the buildings coming from a nearby quarry. Many iron rings in the walls of the barracks bore witness to their original purpose for the use of cavalry. Other barracks were built at the same time in Bury and Preston. A Captain Wickham was named as 'Barrack Master' in 1851.
    In 1854/5, at the time of the Crimean War, they were occupied by the 6th Royal Lancashire Militia. Following the formation of the Rifle Volunteers in Ashton in 1859 and 1860 the Volunteers regularly drilled at the barracks during the evenings and had their annual inspection on the parade ground. In 1869 it is recorded that the 8 th Foot, later to become the King's ( Liverpool ) Regiment occupied the barracks. In 1873 the barracks were enlarged and that year the 63rd and 96th Regiments were linked together with Headquarters in the Ashton under Lyne barracks. In 1881, when the two were joined together to become the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Manchester Regiment, the barracks became the Depot and Headquarters of the new Regiment.


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