Thorp Street drill hall, Birmingham

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Thorp Street drill hall
Thorp Street Car Park (formerly First Warwickshire Rifle Volunteers Barracks), 17 Thorp Street - - 1665921.jpg
Thorp Street drill hall, Birmingham
West Midlands UK location map.svg
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Thorp Street drill hall
Location within West Midlands
Coordinates 52°28′30″N1°53′57″W / 52.47504°N 1.89911°W / 52.47504; -1.89911 Coordinates: 52°28′30″N1°53′57″W / 52.47504°N 1.89911°W / 52.47504; -1.89911
TypeDrill hall
Site history
Built for War Office
In use1881-

The Thorp street drill hall is a former military installation in Birmingham, England.

Birmingham Major city in the English Midlands, 2nd highest population of UK cities

Birmingham is a major city in the West Midlands, England and is the second-largest city and metropolitan area in England and the United Kingdom, with roughly 1.1 million inhabitants within the city area and 3.8 million inhabitants within the metropolitan area. This also makes Birmingham the 17th largest city and 8th largest metropolitan area in the European Union. Birmingham is commonly referred to as the nation's "second city".


The building was designed by Frank Barlow Osborn as the headquarters of the 1st Volunteer Battalion, The Royal Warwickshire Regiment and was completed in 1881. [1] This battalion split to become the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Birmingham Rifles in 1891 and evolved to become the 5th and 6th Battalions of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in 1908. [2] The two battalions were mobilised at the drill hall in August 1914 before being deployed to the Western Front. [3] In 1936, both units converted into anti-aircraft battalions, the 5th battalion as the 45th (The Royal Warwickshire Regiment) Anti-Aircraft Regiment and the 6th Battalion as the 69th (The Royal Warwickshire Regiment) Anti-Aircraft Regiment. [2] While the 45th Regiment remained at Thorp Street, the 69th Regiment moved to Brandwood House in Kings Norton. [2]

Frank Barlow Osborn

Frank Barlow Osborn FRIBA was an English architect based in Birmingham.

Royal Warwickshire Regiment

The Royal Warwickshire Regiment, previously titled the 6th Regiment of Foot, was a line infantry regiment of the British Army in continuous existence for 283 years. The regiment saw service in many conflicts and wars, including the Second Boer War and both the First and Second World Wars. On 1 May 1963, the regiment was re-titled, for the final time, as the Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers and became part of the Fusilier Brigade.

The Birmingham Rifles, was a volunteer unit of the British Army founded in Birmingham in 1859. As the 5th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, it served as infantry on the Western Front and in Italy during the First World War. Its successor units served in air defence during the early part of the Second World War, and later as anti-tank gunners in Burma.

Following a re-organisation in the Royal Artillery, 580 (The Royal Warwickshire Regiment) Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment Royal Artillery was formed at the Thorp Street drill hall in 1947 [4] and, following a further amalgamation, 442 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery was formed there in 1955. [2] The regiment was broken up in 1961; [2] the drill hall was subsequently decommissioned and substantially demolished and the former frontage now forms the entrance to a car park, [5] in what is now the city's Gay Quarter. [6]

Royal Artillery artillery arm of the British Army

The Royal Regiment of Artillery, commonly referred to as the Royal Artillery (RA) and colloquially known as "The Gunners", is the artillery arm of the British Army. The Royal Regiment of Artillery comprises thirteen Regular Army regiments, King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery and five Army Reserve regiments.

Birmingham Gay Village

The Birmingham Gay Village is an LGBT district or "gaybourhood" next to the Chinese Quarter in Birmingham city centre, centred along Hurst Street, which hosts many LGBT-friendly businesses. The village is visited by thousands of people every week and has a thriving night life featuring clubs, sports bars, cocktail bars, cabaret bars and shops, with most featuring live entertainment including music, dancing and drag queens.

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  1. "Thorpe Street". The drill hall project. Retrieved 8 July 2017.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 "5th Battalion, The Royal Warwickshire Regiment". Archived from the original on 17 January 2006. Retrieved 8 July 2017.
  3. "Royal Warwickshire Regiment". The Long, Long Trail. Retrieved 8 July 2017.
  4. "414 - 443 Regiments 1947-67". British Army units 1945 on. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
  5. "Thorp Street Car park" . Retrieved 9 July 2017.
  6. "Quentin Crisp opens Thorp Street". Gay Birmingham Remembered. Retrieved 7 January 2018.