Colchester Garrison

Although Colchester has always been militarily important the first barracks were not built until the times of the war with France in 1794.

Once building started in the area to the South of the existing town more barracks were quickly built to include Infantry, Artillery and Cavalry barracks so that within 10 years the Barracks were home to 7,000 men.

From then on the barracks increased in size and importance with a large amount of land like Abbey Fields used for parade, firing ranges, large exercises and housing for the men.

To this day many of the roads bear hallmarks of this time like Barrack Street and Military Road while others have military connections from the Civil War ( Cromwell Road, Lucas Road and Fairfax Road) , Military Leaders and Campaigns ( Poperinghe Road, Ypres Road, Cambraid Road, Aisne Road, Menin Road and Falklands Road).

Colchester remains an important military town and is home to the 16th Air Assault Brigade comprising of three air assault infantry battalions, two aviation regiments, one artillery regiment, and the necessary supporting units. Most of the Brigade is based at modern purpose built accommodation to the South of Colchester.

Many of the old buildings remain having been converted into housing leaving their origin clear.

Abbey Fields is now a recreational park in the centre of the old barracks.

Goojerat Barracks,The Garrison Church, Hospital and the TA Centre still stand in the main complex for visitors to see from public roads.

There are no visitor tours but the staff at Colchester Tourist Office can help plan a visit to take in the remaining sites at the Garrison for those people whose ancestors may have served there.