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A Napoleonic Defence: Hailsham Barracks 1803 - 1815

Great Britain was at war with France after the breakdown of the Treaty of Amiens in 1803. Napoleon was ravishing Europe and there was great concern about an invasion across the English Channel. The authorities decided that they needed additional defences and a new department was setup by the War Office. They considered the south coast most vulnerable and began a large and expensive program of barrack building.This is a story about one such infantry barrack built in a small town in Sussex. I tell details of the setting up of the Barrack Master’s Office and the building of the barrack. There is information about the coming and goings of the many regiments that visited Hailsham while the barrack was maintained. After the defeat of Napoleon many barracks along the southern counties were closed.This is a record of all the regiments that visited along with church burial records that have survived. Soldiers were dying of disease, accidents, fights and the occasional suicide. Life was very difficult for the regular soldier.

Important places

Hailsham (4)


East Sussex (372)


United Kingdom (21,421)

Other geographical areas

South East (2,496)