Shoebury Garrison Conservation Area
Shoebury Garrison's Special Interest
The Conservation Area has two distinct sections. It is centred on the Garrison's barracks and associated accommodation. It also includes part of the High Street which provides a suitable Victorian setting for the entrance to the Garrison. Its history and archaeology give it national significance. It also has considerable architectural interest with its unique horseshoe barrack design and a range of buildings typical of Victorian military architecture. Many of the Garrison's buildings are listed buildings and have special architectural or historic interest in their own right:
Shoebury Garrison Conservation Area Listed Buildings
- Blocks A-Q Horseshoe Barracks
- Cookhouses r/o blocks CD, EF, LM
- Garrison Church of St Peter & St Paul
- Gate House & Clock Tower
- Gunnery Drill Shed
- Long Course Officers Quarters
- Commandant's House
- Officers Mess
- Blocks E-M including hospital building
- Blocks A-G
Warrior Square Road:
- 5, Clerk of Works House
The character of the Barracks is very special. Its architecture and layout remain largely as originally designed. Well spread out buildings, wide tree lined roads, open spaces and sea views give a feeling of space. Many mature trees within the Garrison enhance the setting of the buildings and positively contribute to the Conservation Area's character.
Most of the buildings date from the mid- to late-nineteenth century. Their materials and common design elements give the area a unified appearance - yellow stock brick, slate roofs, timber sliding sash window. But distinct variations in building design, their position, size and decorative detailing, reflect the different status of the users. Compare Horseshoe Barracks, for instance, which have the simplest designs and provided accommodation for private soldiers, with the well-detailed married officers quarters in The Terrace.
The buildings in Horseshoe Barracks are aligned in a horseshoe shape around a large parade ground. This is a unique example of the efforts during the nineteenth century to reform and improve barrack design. It also provides an important element of the townscape. Other buildings provide focal points for the Conservation Area. The most distinctive is the Gatehouse. It was built in 1856 with an attached guard house and jail and is in an Italianate style. Its central feature is the square clock tower, which has a clock to each face, chamfered corners and moulded cornices and parapet. An archway below provides the entrance to the parade ground and barracks. The Garrison Church of St Peter and St Paul was originally the chapel and school of the British School of Gunnery. It was constructed in 1866 of ragstone and slate in a gothic revival style, with a cruciform plan. Memorials in the church include one to the accidental explosion of 1885.
Other notable buildings include the Garrison's Hospital with its symmetrical frontage design, the gunnery drill shed which is an early example of free-span north-light roofs and has decorative red brick detailing, and the Officers Mess which overlooks the estuary and has a splendid oak panelled dining room.
The High Street
The High Street fronting the Garrison entrance was developed during the second half of the nineteenth century in response to the Garrison and the extension of the railway to Shoebury. The broad High Street was developed piecemeal with no overall design control. Originally a mix of houses and shops, it shows a variety of Victorian designs. Despite conversion of some of the shops to housing, buildings retain much of their Victorian character. Features of particular importance are the original timber sliding sash windows, slate roofs, parapet and cornice detailing and original shopfronts.
The terrace of houses on the west side of the High Street (nos. 9-25) are of varied designs but their typical late Victorian detailing such as recessed porches, bays, timber sliding sash windows and slate roofs give them visual unity.
The Shoeburyness Hotel is at the entrance to the Garrison. Built in an Arts and Crafts style it became a training base for boxers attached to the Garrison, such as Bombadier Wells.
Last updated: 2nd September 2011