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Officers Mess, Jellalabad Barracks (Building No 73)

A Grade II Listed Building in Tidworth, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.231 / 51°13'51"N

Longitude: -1.6703 / 1°40'12"W

OS Eastings: 423120

OS Northings: 148028

OS Grid: SU231480

Mapcode National: GBR 60S.QKG

Mapcode Global: VHC2P.0BC5

Plus Code: 9C3W68JH+9V

Entry Name: Officers Mess, Jellalabad Barracks (Building No 73)

Listing Date: 29 May 1990

Last Amended: 17 November 2015

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1093217

English Heritage Legacy ID: 140173

Location: Tidworth, Wiltshire, SP9

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Tidworth

Built-Up Area: Tidworth

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: TidworthHoly Trinity

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

Tagged with: Building

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An officers' mess of 1905, part of Jellalabad Barracks, Tidworth Camp.


An officers’ mess and quarters of 1905 with later additions to the rear wings.

MATERIALS: built of red brick laid in English bond with rubbed brick dressings, brick ridge stacks and stone dressings. The roofs are covered in tile.

PLAN: a single-depth plan, the mess has a rectangular front range with rear quarter and service wings.

EXTERIOR: of two storeys with a central block of ten bays with set back end sections of five (left) and four (right) bays. The façade has a plat band. The central section is taller and has a central entrance bay with an open pediment containing a Coat of Arms with ER 1905 and a crown in relief. Below is an Ionic diastyle-in-antis brick porch with entablature and parapet with front balustrade, and open sides. JELLALABAD is inscribed in the fascia. The round-arched doorway with fanlight and keystone has double six-panel doors with side lights. The right-hand return has a doorway with architrave and cornice. Either side of the porch is a canted three-light bay with a blocking course. There are rubbed brick heads to plate-glass horned sashes, and six-over-six horned sashes to the left-hand return, which is hung with mid-C20 composite tiles. To the rear are two-storey quarter blocks and single-storey service blocks. The roofs are hipped with oversailing eaves with brackets to the centre, and ridge stacks.

INTERIOR: the wide entrance lobby has a mosaic floor inscribed ER 1905 and is lit by three windows high in the rear wall and a tall sash to the rear left. An axial passage leads to mess rooms either side. The front left-hand mess room has a timber fireplace and pilasters to a plaster cornice. There is a stone fireplace in the right-hand mess room. At each end are rear dogleg stairs with curtail and timber balustrade. To the rear are kitchens, sitting rooms and the quarter blocks. Across the building are panelled doors, dado rail and skirting, and other joinery.

Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that the modern fixtures and fittings are not of special architectural or historic interest.


In September 1897 the War Department purchased the Tedworth Estate from Sir John William Kelk, thereby obtaining most of the land required for the erection of permanent barracks for Tidworth Camp, and for military training. In 1902 construction began on barrack accommodation to house eight infantry battalions, plus units of the Royal Engineers and Army Service Corps. Tidworth was the largest pre-First World War camp constructed on Salisbury Plain and from the outset was provided with good-quality permanent accommodation. The barrack complexes were built in an arc defined by the foot of Clarendon Hill to the west. Each followed a standardised design. To the front were large officers’ messes, lodgings, commander’s houses, and to their rear stables. Each barracks was provided with four two-storey barrack blocks, each accommodating two companies, on the upper storey an external veranda linked the rooms and also connected to the detached non-commissioned officers’ rooms and company stores. Other buildings in the complex included a guardhouse, sergeants’ mess, drill hall, cookhouses, wash houses, latrines and dining rooms, to the rear were stores and laundries. The infantry barracks were all named after battles in India, reading from west to north Aliwal, Assaye, Bhurtpore, Candahar, Delhi, Jellalabad, Lucknow, and Mooltan. Most of these barracks have been demolished, although their names have been retained along with the officers’ messes. Only Jellalabad Barracks (completed 1905) survives in its near original configuration with its officers’ mess, lodgings, commander’s house, guardroom, Quartermasters’ stores, and four barrack buildings. The adjacent Jellalabad Lodge and Jellalabad House are much altered and not listed, however, they are important components of the barracks set-piece. Jellalabad House in particular is significant as the historic home of the battalion commander, and it stands on the prominent corner site at the entrance to the barracks, and to the camp itself.

During the inter-war period Tidworth Camp expanded and in recent decades most of it has been remodelled to meet modern standards for accommodation, training and storage. In the C21 Tidworth is undergoing further development to accommodate the withdrawal of British troops from Germany.

Reasons for Listing

The officers’ mess at Jellalabad Barracks, Tidworth Camp, built in 1905, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: as a good example of an early-C20 officers’ mess, carefully designed and well-executed in good materials;
* Historic & Group value: at the important army complex at Tidworth it forms an historic group as part of the largely intact Jellalabad Barracks (most buildings listed Grade II, but also key unlisted buildings at Jellalabad Lodge and House);
* Planning interest: additional interest is provided by the position of the officers’ mess and its companion buildings as the public face of Tidworth Camp close to its main entrance showing the distinctive provision of quarters given for officers.

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