Report - - Preston Barracks, Brighton - December 2017 | Military Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Preston Barracks, Brighton - December 2017

Chloe Explores

28DL Full Member
Preston Barracks was a military installation in Lewes Road, Brighton.

When we explored this two years ago, there was two remaining buildings left on the site. One building had been developed and was called “Field”. But when the university scheme went through that got demolished and the building had to close a few months before demolition started. So it did become abandoned for a few weeks before it got ripped down.

There is still one building left on the site (The last time I was down in that area of Brighton I saw it still there) that hasn’t been demolished or touched. That is The Crimean War building, it is used for residential accommodation and remains in use.

The building we explored is called the “Mannock". It was constructed in the early 1900's as an officers quarters.

The "Mannock", was unused and boarded-up for quite some time. However the last time I set foot in here it was not boarded at all and open for anyone!

It was named in memory of a WW1 flying ace Major “Mick Mannock” when it became the home of the Air Cadets. Mannock's father, a Scottish corporal, may have been billeted at the Barracks in the 1880's.

The Mannock building was built to last. The design and quality deemed fitting for officers (and gentlemen) at a time when class still ruled, skilled labour was cheap and the nation's coffers were still inflated with the plunder of empire.

This is reflected in its present external appearance which even after 100+ years appears hardly touched by time. It has stone-edged gables and mullioned windows. Inside it has a large stone fireplace still intact but elsewhere much damaged wood-panelling and a once impressive staircase!

The site is no longer abandoned and the university buildings are in the process of being built still. All remaining buildings have been demolished except for The Crimean War building, it is used for residential accommodation and remains in use.

The Regeneration Scheme:


Boy oh boy was this a location. This is a local one for me, I was no stranger to the barracks. I really wish this place was still around because I’d actually of liked to get my decent camera in there and get some wider/fisheye shots of the place. Anyways this was my first location with a camera, before hand I used to use my phone to take pictures of the places but I look back and wish I had saved up the money and bought a cheap camera.

It was a nice start to the day for a Sussex exploration day! This was back in the day where there was many locations in Sussex that were very close together - and fairly decent!

Anyways the access was absolutely a stunner... reason why? Because it was everywhere. We could actually walk through the front door which was magical as the appearance of the door is just outstanding! Somebody had bent a piece of the thick silver spiked metal fence around it so access onto the site was very easy. We went here around 7-8am (I think) as we didn’t want the main road to be to busy! We didn’t really want to get caught on the site as we had many explores planned for the rest of the day!

What was so amazing to us at the time was how this site is in central Brighton and was very secured in its time. It rarely got broken into and if it did, it was by the homeless people that wondered around it. (as I have witnessed them round the front trying to break in back in 2015 - also a good friend of mine who lives near it used to tell me how there would always be dodgy people trying to break in during the night.) I’ve never known any security on the site which is odd as it is in Brighton and should really have security. I had never seen the building looking like this before and it actually looked really nice as you can see from my exteriors.

We was used to seeing it heavily overgrown with silver boards all up on the windows, but luckily for us the builders had cut away any greenery and removed every single board - including the front and back door! I was so happy to see the original door as it had originally been covered with a massive metal security door hiding its beauty!

If I may say so myself this place had one of the best exteriors I’ve ever seen in Sussex for an abandoned building!

The insides hadn’t really changed much since the last time I had went inside. It was just very decayed and heavily vandalised. However it had some nice features. The oak walls, the gorgeous staircase, the circular bay windows... the list goes on and on!

It was a really calm explore and we was there for an hour or two! We didn’t bother going into the “FIELD” building as we had been in there quite a lot when it was open so we knew the layout to the whole place and what it looked like! Also there was a rumour that they had to set up alarms in there as it was refurbished?

Something that was vile was a shelf with a row of dead pigeons on. Some nutter had lined up 8 or so dead pigeon bodies in an order, left starting from the most fresh to right where it was most rotted.... a pigeon grave yard basically. Hated seeing that! My friend had to leave the room because she nearly was sick over it....

A really enjoyable explore and it’s a shame it is gone! RIP Preston barracks - you are missed old friend! :thumb































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