Berwick Upon Tweed Barracks, situated in Palace Street, Berwick Upon Tweed were designed by architect Nicholas Hawksmoor. Building took five years to construct, work being complete by 1721. These barracks were the first purpose built barracks in England.
Berwick upon Tweed being on the border between England and Scotland was the site of many battles between the English and Scots, in fact the town has changed hands with Scotland at least thirteen times. Soldiers were accommodated in the houses of the local community or in taverns. This created financial pressure on local people so to relieve this financial burden the barracks were built!. The Barracks housed 600 men and 36 Officers.
Today the Barracks are an English Heritage property. They consist of two three storey accommodation blocks and a store block around a square. The original well preserved cannons stand in the square.
The Barracks house three museums. The Kings Own Scottish Borderers Museum with a special exhibition named The Beat of The Drum. This exhibition shows the soldiers life in the military over the years. The Berwick Gymnasium Art Gallery,which has a good collection of exhibits. The third museum The Berwick Borough Museum was my favourite, it has a fascinating exhibition of life in the local area in past times. This exhibition has large scale models of housing, shops and life in general.
A fourth museum is a short walk away from The Barracks It is . situated on Berwick Quay It is The Main Guard – this former Main Guard look out is in a house.. This part of the museum has an interesting exhibition called "The Story of a Border Garrison Town.
As well as the museums there is a well stocked gift shop[.
Admission to the Barracks costs £4. £3.60 for concessions. There is a local authority car park almost opposite the Barracks.
Steps are involved in looking around the barracks, there is seating throughout the building and in the outdoor square
Beside the Barracks there are the famous medieval town walls available to walk around and take in the history which is illustrated throughout the walk. The town walls also provide outstanding coastal, river and town views.
The Barracks are in the centre of Berwick Upon Tweed, which has a variety of shops, galleries, museums, restaurants and cafés.