In 1851, the Government offered £100,000 to Guildford Corporation
for building a barracks for 20,000 soldiers on the Hog’s
Back. The offer was declined, but in 1873 Edward Cardwell, Secretary
of State for War, chose Guildford as the site for the 2nd Regimental
District (Infantry) to be known as Stoughton Barracks. Barracks
were being built in county towns in order to link regiments to
districts, and The Queen’s (Second) Royal Regiment,
was allotted Stoughton Barracks as the Regimental Depot.
The barracks were completed in 1876, designed to house 300 Queensmen
and be the headquarters of the 2nd Surrey Militia when they were
called up for training. Its first title was ‘The 48th Brigade
Depot’, but this was abolished in 1881 when The Queen’s
(Second) Royal Regiment became The Queen’s Royal (West Surrey)
Regiment. A married quarters block was built opposite the barracks
in 1879 and by 1881, 500 men, women and children were living in
Stoughton Barracks. The imposing entrance and the Keep made it
a local landmark. Between 1905 and 1936 various buildings and
extensions to existing buildings were added to the original plan.
During the First World War, Stoughton Barracks was also an army
recruiting centre. Early in 1939 wooden huts were built to provide
more accommodation in anticipation of the outbreak of the Second
World War, and during the war the barracks became a reception
and training centre for Infantry recruits.
From 1945 to 1949 the Depot was also a Primary Training Centre
(PTC) for men called up for National Service. However, as a result
of the Malayan Emergency and the outbreak of the Korean War the
establishment was increased to provide a full training programme
The Queen’s Royal Regiment left Stoughton Barracks in 1959.
It had been its home for so many years and thereafter, until the
last military occupants left in 1983, it was used as a Pay Office,
Records office and an Army Works Study Team Centre.
In 1983 it was sold to Countryside Properties plc with permission
to develop the eighteen acre area for residential use, but keeping
many of the original buildings such as the Keep, the Officers’
Mess, some of the barrack blocks, and the wall and arch facing
Throughout the refurbishment of the original Victorian military
buildings the firm Countryside Properties sought to preserve and
where necessary fully restore their external fabric.