Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

Wigan Album

Drill Hall, Powell Street, Wigan


Drill Hall Stonework
Views: 757
Item #: 33159
Does anyone know where this stone work is kept?

Comment by: Albert.S. on 29th May 2021 at 14:30

Ron. What regimental badge is displayed in the stonework?.

Comment by: Albert.S. on 29th May 2021 at 14:35

Ron. Was the drill hall built in the reign of Queen Victoria?. I see that it is the Queen’s crown that is shown.

Comment by: ALAN WINSTANLEY on 29th May 2021 at 15:57

I would also like to know where this stone is situated would like to see it for real .

Comment by: Rev David Long on 29th May 2021 at 17:03

It's outside the Army Reserve Centre on Woodhouse Lane - in front of it is a WW2 gun - you can just see the back of it in the left-hand corner of the pic.

Comment by: RON HUNT on 29th May 2021 at 19:03


Comment by: Rev David Long on 29th May 2021 at 21:53

The elements of this display may be seen in their original position in the Album: Item #: 1069

Comment by: Rev David Long on 29th May 2021 at 22:24

The drill hall was built in 1884 - foundation stone laid in June, and opened in December - by the Earl of Balcarres and Crawford.
Volunteer forces were encouraged to save having a permanent army on the taxes. The 21st Wigan Volunteers was raised in 1854. They became part of the 4th Lancashire Rifle Volunteer Corps in 1860/63 - and became the Manchester Volunteer Battalion in 1888 - so I'd guess the regalia in the carvings relates to the period between those dates - when the corps was the Rifle Volunteers. There was a major overhaul of volunteers in 1908 when the Territorial Force was formed - and the Wigan Battalion became the 1st/ 5th Manchesters... sadly famed for their great sacrifices at Gallipoli - one of Winston Churchill's greatest disasters.

Comment by: Eric R on 29th May 2021 at 22:43

Albert S., The cap badge shown is Light Infantry. The crown appears to be the Queen Victoria crown. I would be interested to know the year the Drill Hall was built, and how the Light Infantry pattern badge was associated with the Wigan Volunteers. I presume the period would be the 1850s - 60s. Were the Volunteers Light Infantry? I have a vague recollection of having seen the original building and the stonework depicted.

Comment by: Eric R. on 30th May 2021 at 10:21

Rev.d. Long, -- Many thanks for your info. Your comment had not been published when I submitted my questions. Obviously an inherited cap badge from predecessor "Rifles" regiments.

Comment by: Dave johnson on 30th May 2021 at 10:54

When I was a young lad I went several times to the drill hall to practice rifle shooting. A neighbour who was a policeman used to take me, his name was Ken Harrison.

Comment by: Cyril on 30th May 2021 at 14:16

Remember going along to a Cat Show held at the Drill Hall in the early 1960s, the show opener and judge was Margot Bryant who played Minnie Caldwell on Coronation Street, the character had a cat named Bobby so probably why she was tasked as being the judge. She was nothing like the character she played though, talking ever so posh and wore a silvery white fur coat with a fluffy collar, we was saying at the time it must have cost a fortune. She looked to be enjoying the attention and most probably was overjoyed with her late life TV stardom. I can't remember the name or breed of the winning cat, though I doubt it would have been an ordinary Tom or Molly.

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