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Latitude: 55.8649 / 55°51'53"N
Longitude: -4.2936 / 4°17'36"W
OS Eastings: 256564
OS Northings: 665903
OS Grid: NS565659
Mapcode National: GBR 0BK.QB
Mapcode Global: WH3P2.0VQ8
Entry Name: 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23 and 25 Carfrae Street and 164 and 172 Yorkhill Street (Former Pearson Hall), excluding 4-storey brick and timber addition to east, Glasgow
Listing Date: 15 December 1970
Last Amended: 6 June 2016
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 406044
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB33024
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: Anderston/City/Yorkhill
Traditional County: Lanarkshire
The principal (east) elevation of this former drill hall has 2 finely detailed separate entrances. The left side of the elevation is taller with two angled sections flanking a canted, recessed stone entrance bay with a pedimented doorway with finials and rounded columnettes rising two storeys and forming the window mullions. The other entrance (to the right) is a wider arched doorway in a semi-circular polychrome brick tower with small tripartite windows and a deeply overhanging conical slate roof set between two lower pitched roof elements. The south elevation consists of a 3-storey, 3-bay section to the right and a 2-storey, 10-bay section to the left. It has mullioned and transomed windows. The 2-storey section has arched windows at the ground floor, two of which are infilled former entrances, with a later alteration to the left upper floors as part of the conversion to residential housing.
There are timber doors and multi-pane casement windows. The slate roofs are behind castellated parapet walls and there are cast iron rainwater goods.
This former drill hall was built as a headquarters for both the battalion and the volunteer medical corps and is an important example of a drill hall because of its substantial size and well-crafted street elevations. It is an unusual combination of Tudoresque and Arts and Crafts detailing, particularly to the Yorkhill Street elevation. The pair of entrances with a wealth of carved stonework details, directly evidence the multiple occupants for which this hall was built to accommodate. It is a prominent building in this largely residential area of Glasgow. In accordance with Section 1 (4A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 the following are excluded from the listing: the 4-storey brick and timber addition to the east.
An article in the Builder of 1901 notes that this building was built as the New Volunteer Headquarters and also provided the headquarters for the Volunteer Medical Corps. The Medical Corps entrance was on Gilbert Street and comprised a drill hall measuring 70ft by 40ft, a store for ambulance wagons and an armoury. The arched elevation which faces north into the internal courtyard may have been the garages for the ambulances. The drill hall for the infantry battalion was much larger at 174ft by 74ft. This hall had access at both ends, although the principal elevation was to the east, and it is likely one of the two remaining entrances provided access to the hall. The complex also contained a reading room, sergeants' mess, officers' mess and billiard rooms, with residential accommodation provided for the Sergeant Major on the top floor.
The World War One Audit Project notes that in 1914 the former Pearson Volunteer Hall was the headquarters of a number of units and base for some of their constituent companies and squadrons, including the headquarters for "A" to "H" Companies of the 6th battalion, Highland Light Infantry, No. 4 Company of the Lowland Divisional Transport and Supply Column, Army Service Company, the HQ and "A" and "B" Sections of the Lowland Mounted Field Ambulances, the headquarters for "A" to "C" Sections of the 1st and 2nd Lowland Divisional Field Ambulances and the 3rd and 4th General Hospitals, Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC).
In 1947 the drill hall was taken over by the new 15th (Scottish Volunteer) Battalion, The Parachute Regiment under Brigadier Alastair Pearson and it is likely to have been renamed at this point. In 1999 the large hall to the rear was demolished and a 4-storey, timber and brick wing of apartments (1 and 3 Carfrae Street) was added to the north side on Carfrae Street forming a courtyard to the rear. The flats at 3 Carfrae Street are within part of the 1901 former drill hall as well as the early 21st century 4-storey, timber and brick addition, which is excluded from the listing.
In the late 1850s there was concern in the British Government about the Army's ability to defend both the home nation as well as the Empire. Britain's military defences were stretched and resources to defend Britain needed to be found. One solution was to create 'Volunteer Forces', a reserve of men who volunteered for part-time military training similar to that of the regular army and who could therefore help to defend Britain if the need arose.
In 1859 the Rifle Volunteer Corps was formed and the Volunteer Act of 1863 provided more regulation on how the volunteer forces were run and it set out the standards for drills and a requirement for annual inspections. Most purpose-built drill halls constructed at this time were paid for by a major local landowner, the subscriptions of volunteers, local fundraising efforts or a combination of all three. The Regulation of the Forces Act 1871 (known as the Cardwell Reforms after the Secretary of State for War, Edward Cardwell) gave forces the legal right to acquire land to build a drill hall and more purpose-built drill halls began to be constructed after this date. The largest period of drill hall construction, aided by government grants, took place between 1880 and 1910. The Territorial and Reserve Forces Act 1907 (known as the Haldane Reforms after the Secretary of State for War, Richard Haldane) came into force in 1908 and the various Volunteer Units were consolidated to form the Territorial Force. The construction of drill halls largely ceased during the First World War and in 1920 the Territorial Force became the Territorial Army.
In the 20th century changes in warfare and weaponry made many of the earlier drill halls redundant and subject to demolition or change to a new use. Around 344 drill halls are believed to have been built in Scotland of which 182 are thought to survive today, although few remain in their original use. Drill halls are an important part of our social and military history. They tell us much about the development of warfare and the history of defending our country. They also, unusually for a nationwide building programme, were not standardised and were often designed by local architects in a variety of styles and they also have a part to play in the history of our communities.
The requirements for drill halls were usually quite basic – a large covered open space to train and drill as well as a place for the secure storage of weapons. The vast majority of drill halls were modest utilitarian structures. Most drill halls conformed to the pattern of an administrative block containing offices and the armoury to store weapons along with a caretaker or drill instructors accommodation, usually facing the street. To the rear would be the drill hall itself. Occasionally more extensive accommodation was required, such as for battalion headquarters where interior rifle ranges, libraries, billiards rooms, lecture theatres and bars could all be included.
Statutory address and listed building record revised in 2016 as part of the Drill Halls Listing Review 2015-16. Previously listed as '1-25 (Odds Nos) Carfrae Street and 164 and 172 Yorkihill Street, Former Pearson Hall'.
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