The History and Antiquities of the County of Dorset
by John Hutchins:

(3rd Edition published 1868)

Transcribed by Michael Russell OPC for Dorchester - May 2016



The Barracks
Page 374

This Barrack, erected at the east entrance of Poundbury, west from the town, was constructed for, and built at the public expense. It was begun April 30th 1794, and completed July 4 1795 by Mr FENTIMAN, builder, of Newington Butts, Surrey. It consists of a centre building, with two large detached wings. The whole extends 610 feet in length, and the depth of the centre building is 67 feet, and of the wings 42 feet 6 inches. In the centre building are 21 rooms for officers, 4 for servants, and a mess kitchen. The two wings contain rooms sufficient for 4 quarter masters, 12 sergeants, and 164 privates, kitchens for cooking, &c. also stalls for 28 officers horses and 160 troop horses. The whole is surrounded by a wall 12 feet in height, containing an area of 14 acres; the exercising ground is on a gradual descent, towards the river Frome, where the horses are watered. Within the walls are various other buildings, viz. the engine house , two hay-barns, the farriery and smith's shop, the magazine, the washhouse. the horse infirmary, the shed for ammunition wagons, the men's infirmary, the riding-house, under which is a depot for ammunition, which is arched, boarded, and floored, the shuttling-house, and two granaries, &c. The guard house is on one side of the middle entrance, The cost was estimated at about £24,000

Genealogical Notes:-

(1). Today most people associate the Barracks with the Keep Military Museum which has dominated this area of town every since it was built in 1879. The Museum has it's own excellent website which covers the history of The Keep itself and the various Regiments that have been based there.

    Here are some useful links to the information on their site :- History of the Keep

    The Early Days - The Militia
    (see also Militia Lists: Fordington 1758,   Dorchester 1758,   Dorchester & Fordington :- 1761,   1762,   1764,   Fordington 1796,   Dorchester 1796 )

Postcards of the Keep

The above postcard appears to have been written on 21st April 1904, but posted at Dorchester at 9.30pm on August 23rd and arrived at Rouen in France on 24th August.
As can be seen it has a divided back which was licenced by the Post Office in 1902. Prior to that date however text had to be written on the front of the card
I suspect either the Frenchman did not know that he could now write in the area provided next to the address, or that it was still not accepted practice in France.

The above postcard was posted in Tunbridge Wells Kent on 6th Sep 1929 the writer have just returned from Dorchester

The above postcard was printed by Henry Ling (1836-1911)

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