Last Updated:

14 Jul 2020

Drill Hall, Hebburn

Hebburn, South Tyneside

54.975205, -1.524942

This is a

Military Training Site

Founded in 

19th Century

Current status is

Demolished

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Now occupied by housing

There was a drill hall situated not far from Hebburn Colour Works and the station in the late 19th century. It was utilised and built for the 1st Newcastle Artillery Volunteers which was active from 1860 at the time of a perceived French threat. The unit composed of part time soldiers eager to supplement to the regulars in the British Army if needed.

Its main drill hall was over at Liddell Terrace, Gateshead, though they seemed to have various in the region. Situated close to the site is an associated Rifle Range looking out to the Tyne, close to the Tyne Works and Tennant's works.

The site of the drill hall was later taken over by a Bauxite Works in the early 20th century, likely convenient as the South Shields NER branch was close by so could utilise it to transport its goods. It was likely part of the Tennant's Works complex.

There is no longer any trace of the site as it's now occupied by housing developments. The rifle range is now the park along the riverside which has since been landscaped.

The two maps above illustrate the site of Hebburn Drill Hall in the latter half of the 19th century. The first further above is from 1899, and illustrated the site close to a reservoir east of Hebburn Railway Station. It seems the site is enclosed by railway sidings and was likely on a small parcel of land unused by the works, and hastily built due to the threat of the French as noted above. The related rifle range can also be seen under the sidings on the unused land close to the Tyne.

The second image shows an entirely overhauled area. The reservoir is still there, though the Drill Hall is occupied by the new Bauxite Works, close to the Hebburn station goods shed. The Rifle Range is still insitu complete with its metre markers but is disused by this point.

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