The History of the Barracks

The History of the Barracks - an historic image of the exterior of The Keep

The museum’s ‘research in progress’ exhibition, The History of the Barracks, is open now.  We would like to use this exhibition as a starting point for gathering the memories and stories of people who lived or worked at the barracks, visited for social events such as dances and concerts, or even attended the ‘School for Spies’ a Russian language school which was housed at the barracks during the Cold War.

Perhaps you attended the concert here on the 8th June 1968 by Roger Taylor’s band ‘The Reaction’, a precursor of Queen? Anyone with memories of the barracks is invited to get in touch with the museum so that the information can be added to the archives and incorporated into future exhibitions.

The exhibition itself is an introduction to the history of Bodmin Barracks which once played a major role in the life and economy of the town. The exhibition incorporates a model of the barracks, old photographs and plans which tell the story of the barracks through the ages.  It includes information about ‘The Keep’ which today houses the museum and was originally built in 1859 to provide stores and a parade ground for the Royal Cornwall Rangers Militia Regiment. This was later extended into Victoria Barracks in 1881 with the addition of many other buildings, including separate soldiers’ quarters for the newly formed Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry (DCLI). The exhibition also shows how the site expanded further into Walker Lines Camp which was constructed in 1940/41 to house troops preparing for the invasion of the European mainland.


Can you help?

We are looking for people with memories of the historic barracks that have played such an important part in the life of the town, and the county, for over 100 years.  We’re keen to gather more information and would love to hear from people who have any memories and stories of the working and social life of the barracks in its heyday.

The information (or photos) you provide will be added to the museum’s archives, and may be used in the ‘History of the Barracks’ exhibition, as well as possibly being incorporated into future displays.

If you think you can help, or have any memories to share with us, please get in touch.



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