Former army HQ, Newtown

PWMP logobutton_lang_welshFormer army HQ, Newtown

This building was erected c.1840, possibly as a wool warehouse. It became the headquarters of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers’ 7th Battalion, which lost many men in Turkey in 1915.

In the early 20th century, large letters painted on the east-facing wall identified the building as the HQ of the 5th Volunteer Battalion of the South Wales Borderers. This was founded in March 1897. The commanding officer was Major Edward Pryce-Jones, MP for Montgomery District of Boroughs. There were companies at Newtown, Welshpool, Montgomery and Machynlleth.

From 1898 the HQ at Newtown was known as the Armoury. It included a weapons storage area and a rifle range.

The battalion became the 7th (Montgomery and Merionethshire) Battalion of the RWF in 1908, after new legislation formalised the structure of Britain’s Territorial and Reserve forces. Many new recruits arrived after the outbreak of war in 1914.

In summer 1915, many of the battalion’s soldiers died, fell ill or were wounded at the Gallipoli peninsula, where the Allies were trying to invade and eventually defeat Turkey. The Allies had made mistakes in their initial attack in February and lost the element of surprise, but retreat wasn’t ordered until November 1915.

The loss of men from farms to the war effort began to threaten Britain’s food supply by 1916, so farmers were allowed to borrow soldiers for seasonal tasks. Montgomeryshire farmers were invited to apply to the Armoury if they wanted a particular soldier, such as a son who had enlisted.

The Armoury was later a local Territorial Army base, before having various commercial uses. In 2016 it was converted into residential apartments for Mid-Wales Housing Association.

Postcode: SY16 2NH    View Location Map

Website of Mid-Wales Housing Association


To continue the Newtown in WW1 tour, walk into the car park and bear right. Follow the riverbank to the footbridge. Cross the river and the parkland to Plas Dolerw
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