'The Camp at Aldershott'
These images are the earliest in the Aldershot Military Museum collections which show the development of what was described at the time as 'The Camp at Aldershott'.
They depict one element of the two main accommodation areas of the camp at that time - the permanent barracks. The other element was the wooden hutted accommodation known as North Camp and South Camp. They are taken from an album, which it is believed was compiled to show the progress of works on the Cavalry Barracks in particular. Unfortunately the photographer is unrecorded. The originals of all of these images are albumen prints, a photographic printing technique popular from 1850 until the 1890s. Each image links to view an enlargement.
The Permanent Barracks
Initially the permanent barracks were so named as they were the only barracks intended to remain at Aldershot - the hutted camps were originally envisaged to have been temporary for the duration of the Crimean War. The site of the permanent barracks, which ran along Wellington Avenue, was plotted by the officer commanding Royal Engineers South Western District Colonel Sir Frederick Smith.
The permanent barracks consisted of barracks for Cavalry, Artillery and Infantry. The design of the buildings of the permanent barracks was undertaken by Captain R M Laffan, Royal Engineers. They were constructed by George Myers, one of the country's leading building contractors. Myers also worked on several other War Office contracts including the Royal Victoria Hospital at Netley, the Staff College, Camberley (1862) as well as Broadmoor Prison. The permanent barracks were completed by the end of 1859 at a total cost of £549,092.
Officers' Mess, East Infantry Barracks, 1856
Aldershot Military Historical Trust MM1983.2444.33