Redford Barracks

Redford Cavalry and Infantry Barracks are located on Colinton Road, near the Edinburgh City Bypass, east of the suburb of Colinton in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Redford Barracks was built between 1909 and 1915 by the War Office and designed by Harry Bell Measures. When completed, the Barracks was the largest military installation built in Scotland since Fort George in the Highlands. The British Army garrison in Edinburgh Castle formally moved out to the Barracks in 1923. Today, the Infantry Barracks are the location of a resident line infantry battalion, 3rd Battalion, The Rifles, and the Cavalry Barracks houses a number of administrative functions.

The Barracks is centred on two category B listed main buildings and parade squares facing Colinton Road.

Infantry Barracks

The Infantry Barracks (55°54′37″N 3°14′45″W / 55.9103°N 3.2457°W / 55.9103; -3.2457 (Infantry Barracks, Redford Barracks, Edinburgh)), was originally built to house an entire Infantry regiment and could accommodate 1000 men. Today it provides everything the resident line infantry battalion requires to function. The families live in service quarters close to the Barracks and the children attend local schools. The main barrack block itself houses the resident Battalion Headquarters, one Rifle Company, a Fire Support Company and Headquarters Company. The two other Rifle Companies are accommodated in a separate, newer block. The main buildings' accommodation is modern and bright.

Redford provides the base for the guard of Edinburgh Castle. The resident Infantry Battalion has been the 3rd Battalion, The Rifles (formerly 2nd Battalion, The Light Infantry) since 2003, when they took over from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

Cavalry Barracks

The three-storeyed Cavalry Barracks (55°54′46″N 3°14′31″W / 55.9127°N 3.2419°W / 55.9127; -3.2419 (Cavalry Barracks, Redford Barracks, Edinburgh)), with its tall domed clock-tower, was originally built to house a Cavalry regiment, most notably the Royal Scots Greys, with a large annexe of Stables and associated outbuildings. With the permanent stationing of armoured units like the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards in Germany as part of the British Army of the Rhine, the Cavalry barracks was no longer required for its original purpose. Today it is 51st (Scottish) Brigade's Regional Training Centre, base for all Territorial Army training in Scotland, as well as housing other administrative functions. The Cavalry Barracks has also recently become base to the Headquarters of 52 Brigade, which largely moved from Edinburgh Castle, with the exception of a few remaining ceremonial functions. The Cavalry Barracks also annually houses the performers of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, with the parade square used for rehearsals.

An urban myth is that the Barracks' design was originally intended for use in India due to its distinctive Indo-Saracenic architectural features, as well the high ceilings, doorways and airy rooms throughout the main blocks.

Nearby locations

The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland and The Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland are located at the adjacent Dreghorn Barracks, which was originally requisitioned by the Army in 1914. Together with the Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland, based at Glencorse Barracks in Penicuik, the three sites comprise the City of Edinburgh Garrison.

Drill halls used by 105th Regiment Royal Artillery (Volunteers) and the City of Edinburgh UOTC are also located adjacent to the barracks and the Army School of Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming is situated nearby at Inchdrewer House. The barracks also makes use of the Castlelaw Training Area and Rifle Range in the Pentland Hills.

The future

Moving towards Future Force 2020, and returning the 20,000 personnel stationed in Germany, means the Armed Forces' estate requirements will change. As a result, the MOD has reviewed its future basing needs.

The driving force behind the review of basing is the military requirement. By 2020, the Army will be made up of five Multi-Role Brigades (MRB) of around 6,000 people. These brigades need to be geographically close to suitable training areas so they can prepare for deployment.

The changes to military basing announced by the Defence Secretary include:

• An Army MRB will be in Scotland, centred on Edinburgh. The base at Kirknewton, South-West of Edinburgh, will be developed into a major Army base. The first units are expected to move in to Kirknewton in 2016-17. Additional troops will be stationed in Glencorse Barracks. Redford and Dreghorn Barracks will become surplus to requirements and are, therefore, earmarked for disposal.