... feminist, atheist, autistic academic and historic narrowboater ...
Likes snooker, beer, tea, rivets and solitude, and is strangely fascinated by the cinema organ.
And there might be something about railways.

Friday, 13 August 2021

Hillsborough Barracks

A very quick post-work walk, along a familiar and not at all pleasant route. Hillsborough Barracks is situated on the Langsett Road, where I regularly used to walk, and even run, early in the morning. I even knew the distance before I set out, as the far entrance was the marker for my first mile on that route.
As you can see, the site is now a shopping centre.
A very recognisably 1980s shopping centre,
fallen on harder times,
with many empty units. There are a few charity shops, and this formed part of one of my chazzering circuits, taking in the ones at the Barracks followed by those on Hillsborough's main shopping street.

The Barracks was built between 1848 and 1854 and was one of the largest in the country. Military presences were common in cities and one of the reasons for the massive contingent in Sheffield was the Chartist riots of 1839. These began when troops were called in from the earlier barracks at Hillfoot to break up an illegal, but previously peaceful, gathering on August 12th that year. The Chartists were a national movement, calling for democratic reform, including the vote for all men over 21, payment for MPs, the removal of the property qualification (the requirement that someone own property of a certain value to be eligible to stand for parliament), a secret ballot, equally sized constituencies, and annual parliaments. Following the 1839 riots, in which the government forces were seen by many to have over-reacted, Chartist membership and radicalism grew in Sheffield, with frequent demonstrations and real and imagined plots to stage riots and take over the Town Hall. Hence the perceived need for a strong military presence, not only in Sheffield, but in many other industrial towns too, as working men agitated for their political rights.

The turreted building fronting onto the Langsett Road was the officers' quarters and mess, with a chapel at the far end.

One parade ground is now a car park
The other, beyond the stables, has had an enormous Morrisons built on it.
If you look above the ground floor windows in the top photo, you'll see neat black shapes on the stonemwork. A similar phenomenon can be seen on this wall.

These blocks of black haven't been painted on; they're where there was a sign, which was in place when the stonework was cleaned but subsequntly removed. I don't know when the cleaning was done, but prior to then, the buildings - all the buildings - were that colour all over.

With the addtion of a little bit of wandering about, this walk was a fraction over two miles, on Wednesday August 11th.

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