Whilst writing up the MicrobizTM story I searched around for photos of The Drill Hall in Denne Road in my collection…and realised that I did not have any. So off to The Drill Hall with the Canon 500D and 10-18mm lens I went to put things right and added a very short history below.
The site for the Drill Hall was purchased in 1922 and built for the local Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment. It was formally opened on the 10th of December, 1927 at a cost of £20,000; it was funded by the battalion itself. The architects were Godman and Kay, Lt Col Godman being a partner in the firm and the commanding officer. The pride of the new building was the sprung floor: “90ft by 45ft ballroom of pitch pine flooring” which still forms the main hall today.
Sir Oswald Mosely and the British Union of Facists held a meeting there prior to the second World War.
The battalion, by then the Territorial Army, stayed until 1999 at which point it was disbanded. The Ministry of Defence handed the property over to the town council with a covenant stating that it must be kept for public use. Some years later the council forgot about the covenant and needed to be reminded of it by The Horsham Society and others.
As the photos above reveal the site looks very organised from the street but comprises a range of buildings in various states of repair and disrepair. This is also clear from the Google Earth view below; the Drill Hall is on the left hand side and half way down, the pin marker is over the main hall.