Webpage created: February 09, 2016
Webpage updated: June 12, 2019
DESCRIPTION IN 1889
The "Naval and Military Record" of June 6th 1889 carried a description of the new buildings of the Royal Naval Barracks.
There were two three-storey blocks, lettered A and B, each with gas lighting and electric bells. The men occupied rooms A, B, C, and D, each about 18 feet in height and with space for 125 hammocks. The Marines had one room all to themselves. The mess tables were arranged at right angles to the walls, with two rows of hammocks slung down the centre of the rooms. The tables could be hauled up on ropes to leave the whole area clear for other purposes.
A small building between blocks A and B contained the galleys. There were two large double ranges capable of cooking for 500 men and a smaller range for the warrant-officers. Also available was an immense Drill Shed, open on the side facing A block, where the men could take their recreation on wet weather. Each of the Blocks had wash places and drying rooms attached. In another small building at the harbour end of the main accommodation blocks was the canteen and above that were five or six rooms for the use of the master-at-arms, who acted as barrack-master.
The officers’ quarters were in two buildings at the opposite end of the main blocks. In one of the buildings were the mess room, recreational rooms (reading, smoking and billiards) and some of the officers’ cabins, each as large as a wardroom on board most ships. The remainder of the cabins were in the second building. The mess-room was already considered to be too small for all the officers when the Barracks were full so a new one was going to be erected. Eight tennis courts were also provided. Elsewhere on the 21 acres site were a large parade ground, offices for the paymaster and stores for meat, vegetables and clothing. At the waterside was a wooden Battery containing two six-inch, one five-inch and one four-inch breech-loading guns, one 64-pounder muzzle-loader (provided as a ‘curiosity’), a quick-firing six pounder and machine guns, the whole fitted for sea service.
Some £3,000 was being spent on constructing a house for the captain but in the meantime he was using rooms in one of the officers’ buildings.