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Author Topic: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham  (Read 63595 times)

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Offline Charles

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #46 on: January 27, 2011, 20:54:29 »
I do not know when Hill House was built but the first record of a rental by the Navy is in 1620 from Sir Richard Slingsby who held it on a lease from the Rochester Dean and Chapter. His interest in the lease was bought out for £100 in 1623. The assumption is that the Navy acquired the freehold in 1661 and that the house stood until 1777 which is the year when in readiness for the construction of the marines barracks the lease on the remaining surrounding land was also acquired from the Dean and Chapter.

I cannot say whether the other public houses you mention were in use at the same time that Hill House became a pub but a map of 1763 suggests that this may be so. The troops in the infantry barracks could have provided plenty of customers. Whilst Hill House was demolished to make way for the marines barracks c 1777 the other pubs stood until 1862 and the Act to authorise compulsory purchase of the land on which they stood in order to enlarge the marines barracks.

There is a reference to Pay House Lane as a local name perhaps for the lane that went to Hill House as the Navy pay office and if so this would be separate to Red Cat Lane which was the route adjacent to the church yard.


Offline Leofwine

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #45 on: January 27, 2011, 14:01:21 »
With reference to Hill House this was an existing property rented by the navy for the use of its senior officers (Pepys included) when visiting the dockyard which was then located at Gunwharf. When the "new" dockyard was built at the present site Hill House remained in use as the pay office for the dockyard and it is included in Dumner's great survey of the late 17th century with images available from the British Library (perhaps on line). The Brit Lib also has an early 18th century engraving that appears in some published works that shows Hill House as a grand residence. When no longer required by the Navy the house found a new use as a public house including no doubt serving the troops in the infantry barracks across the road. It was lost only when the marines barracks were built.

Thanks for that info Charles. Do you happen to know when it was built and when the Navy acquired it?

I'm also interested in your reference to it being used as a public house. I know that later there were three pubs (Army & Navy, Queen's Head and Red Lion) close by in the little area between the church and Red Cat Lane (I wonder if this got its name from the fact it led from Dock Road/Lane to the Red Lion pub?), and I wonder if any of those were there at the same time.
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Offline Lyn L

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #44 on: January 27, 2011, 09:32:24 »
Have to agree with you Wardy, The Marine Band ARE the best in the world, biased as my brother was a bandsman from a boy ( 14yrs) at Deal  and went all over the world, including being on HMS Britannia. Our greatest memory is of seeing ALL the combined bands at the Royal Tournament ( one of the last ones ) when they all streamed into the arena it was a marvellous sight and brought lumps to our throats, not many left now sadly.Can't remember what year that was now.
Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life tryi

Offline Charles

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #43 on: January 27, 2011, 07:45:37 »
With reference to Hill House this was an existing property rented by the navy for the use of its senior officers (Pepys included) when visiting the dockyard which was then located at Gunwharf. When the "new" dockyard was built at the present site Hill House remained in use as the pay office for the dockyard and it is included in Dumner's great survey of the late 17th century with images available from the British Library (perhaps on line). The Brit Lib also has an early 18th century engraving that appears in some published works that shows Hill House as a grand residence. When no longer required by the Navy the house found a new use as a public house including no doubt serving the troops in the infantry barracks across the road. It was lost only when the marines barracks were built.


Offline bromptonboy

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #42 on: January 27, 2011, 07:33:21 »
The parade most mostly regular RM with added contingents from the Chatham RMR and the Chatham Cadet Units. The cadets brought up the rear of the parade.
Ref the parade. Zeebrugge--- hms vindictive of course . a ship that 'returned' to chatham and embarked chatham division royal marines.
strangly the reason i stumbled onto this site was my search for information on the vindindicive in relation to her cruises 1925 to 1928 and the actions the ship's royal marines were involved in. If anyone can help with information it would be appreciated.
p.s. i think the band may be regulars but the contigent marching is most certainly cadets.


Offline Wardy

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #41 on: January 27, 2011, 03:32:46 »
My father and older locals in Brompton told me of the mace over the gateway.
  I remember this well, only a kid at the time but the the feat is still vivid in my mind, the gate had to be 30ft high.  I have seen bands around the world and feat or no feat none compare to The Marines..... in my oppinion that is but there again I'm a Chatham boy

Offline Leofwine

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #40 on: January 26, 2011, 23:42:17 »
20 Apl. , 1777 , Navy Board letter. The Hill House field having been approved as a proper place to build Marine Barracks, we have purchased the remaining lease.

02 Sept , 1779 , First occupation of their new Barracks by Royal Marines, Chatham Division.

Hill House was on the corner of Red Cat Lane and Dock Lane/Road with Hill house field where some of the Royal Marine Parade ground and part of the Barracks were.

Going back to the start of this thread, does anyone have any more information and/or pictures of Hill House? The only picture I have been able to find so far is on an engraving showing Chatham and the Dockyard in 1738, but it doesn't give much detail. However, on the key it does say "Hill House or Pay Office."   Does anyone know who or what it would have peen the pay office for? (Gun wharf maybe?)
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ubique

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #39 on: January 26, 2011, 21:56:47 »
Ref the parade. Zeebrugge--- hms vindictive of course . a ship that 'returned' to chatham and embarked chatham division royal marines.
strangly the reason i stumbled onto this site was my search for information on the vindindicive in relation to her cruises 1925 to 1928 and the actions the ship's royal marines were involved in. If anyone can help with information it would be appreciated.
p.s. i think the band may be regulars but the contigent marching is most certainly cadets.

Offline bromptonboy

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #38 on: January 26, 2011, 07:41:28 »
It is good to see something reminding us the the Royal Marines were in Chatham Just a pity it is not on the site of the RM barracks but on the Navy Gun Wharf!

Offline Leofwine

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #37 on: January 26, 2011, 04:10:59 »
I'd never actually noticed that stone down there!  Looks as though it could use a little TLC though. Might be worth mentioning at the World Heritage meeting next week.
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Offline DMC

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #36 on: January 25, 2011, 20:39:46 »
A few more here for possible “car dating” evidence






DMC
 :)

Offline bromptonboy

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #35 on: January 25, 2011, 17:10:54 »
Re: The Parade. St George's Day 1968. It was the 50th anniversary of the Zeebrugge raid that the Chatham Battalion RM played a major part in as well as ships prepared in Chatham Dockyard.

The 'site boards' were up for the site to be sold, again! It was originally sold out of Admiralty ownership in the early 1950's to Palfreys the paper sack manufacturers. This was after a plan to centralise the Royal Dockyard Technical Schools there fell through.

The barrack block that can be seen was the last remaining building of the old barracks. The extreme right hand portion was the original quarters for the Commandant of the Chatham Division until he moved into the newly acquired Melville Barracks occupying the former house of the Surgeon Superintendent. can you imagine a Major General these days having a front door onto a public highway!

The tunnel Ubique's sister mentions was the RM Deep Refuge. There were two entrances just inside the Dock Road wall of the barracks, an exit into Melville Barracks and an exit into the Gun Drill Battery. It was (still is) on two levels. The lower level was all accommodation with triple level bunks. The upper level was admin offices, plant rooms and a casualty clearing station. The main air intake for the tunnels was via a huge galvanised metal chimney next to the Gun Drill Battery entrance.

ubique

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #34 on: January 25, 2011, 16:14:51 »
That looks like a SITE ENTRANCE board on the side of the gates.I wonder who the agents were or was Crown land dealt with differently?
I was stationed at kitchener 1968/69 and fairly sure that the dock road wall was insitu but cannot vouch for the barrack buildings.
 Ford cortina in pic.is mk1 version launched in 1962 so this could be late 60's early 70's. Royal marine contigent are carrying colours of some sort and as the weather looks like summer or spring time could this have been something like a Queen's birthday parade?  

Offline Leofwine

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #33 on: January 24, 2011, 21:54:57 »
Thanks for posting those DMC, you have now confirmed that I am not suffering from false memories!  When I came across some old photos of the entrance to the RM Barracks I was convinced they looked familiar and that I had seen them as a child, but on digging around I found out the barracks had closed before I was born!  The fact that they were still there, but presumably derelict, in the 70s means I probably did see them as a youngster!

The dating I have found for the barracks so far is: Building approved 1777, first occupied 1779, in use to 1959. The barracks were gradually vacated from 1950-59.  Lloyds of London was relocated to a new office across the former four-acre site of the Royal Marine barracks, from London in 1980.

I guess this means that parts of the barracks may have survived into the mid to late 70s before being demolished to make way for Lloyds.
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Offline DMC

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Re: Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham
« Reply #32 on: January 24, 2011, 21:44:55 »
Found these pictures of, what i think, is the entrance to the RM barracks in dock road during some parade or other. Looks like they were taken early/mid 70’s (judging by how old i look in some of the other pics from the same batch)







DMC

 

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