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Pioneers Project: Changing Barne Barton for the benefit of community

The Pioneers Project established in 2017 and based in Barne Barton have recently taken on the mission of restoring the Bull Point Barracks in order to invest in to the local community.

What was the barracks former use?

Bull Point Royal Artillery Barracks was built between 1851 and 1855 to house the officers and soldiers of the Royal Artillery guarding the Army Ordnance Depot at Bull Point, in the ancient parish of Saint Budeaux, and to protect the Royal Dockyard from any possible enemy invasion from the north. There was a defensive perimeter wall constructed of Plymouth limestone ashlar and rubble around the entire site.
The Guard House and entrance were on the eastern side, off the lane from Saint Budeaux to Kinterbury House.
Principle buildings within the walls were the Soldiers' Quarters to the east of which were the Officers' Quarters. Across the Parade Ground on the southern side were a Magazine, flanked on both sides by stables and garages. In the south-western corner was the Canteen. At the north-eastern side was a Forage Store and on the north-western side another Magazine.
Historic England, the body now responsible for the site, which is all Grade II Listed, state that the 'entrance has a wide pediment containing a shield over a round-arched gateway with rusticated dressings and double metal doors, and smaller segmental-arched doorways each side'.
The Guard House is 'single-storey, 4-window range has deep overhanging roof to front supported on 6 slim cast-iron columns, rubbed brick heads to outer doorways and to horned 6/6-pane sashes between; the left-hand part obscured by mid-20th century extension. The wall to the left ramps down with a moulded coping to enclose a small exercise yard, with a doorway'.
On the southern side of the Parade Ground the Magazine is described as a small brick building with end gables behind a tall ashlar wall with a central doorway with raised surround and corner piers. The Stables and Garages on each side of the Magazine are 'partly open-fronted with timber columns, double garage doors to the left and metal-framed windows to the right'.
The two-storey Canteen is of a 5-window range. Historic England describe it as having a 'symmetrical front with rubbed brick flat-arches to doorway with 4-pane overlight and double doors, and to horned 6/6-pane sashes'.
A building in the north-east corner of the site is a '2-storey, 1-window store, probably for forage, with a wide doorway and a small 12-pane ground floor window and upper taking-in door in the end gable', while building in the north-west corner of the site is described as '2-storey, 1-window store, probably formerly a magazine, with steps up to an upper doorway flanked by blind slits, and an altered doorway and first-floor casement window in the end gable'.

Pioneers Project is a CIC (Community Interest Company) which mean that all profit made by the company legally must be reinvested into community projects, just like charities they heavily rely on supporter donations and national funding pots in order to carry out the work they do.

The barracks were left unused for nearly 30 year before Pioneers secured a 99 year lease of the buildings and surrounding lands.

Future plans for the grounds? we will get to that shortly, but first, lets see what the property look like now.

The potential in these ground is never ending! What will they do with it?

Pioneers have plans to turn the grounds into a community complex featuring things such as:

- Community Gym & Health centre

- Community Lets building for start up CIC & Charities

- Youth & Engagement centre

and much much more to benefit the community both local and surrounding.

Currently whilst the building are under development the ''parade ground'' is being used for events such as monthly car boot sales (2nd Saturday each month) and the Jubilee celebration that took place today.

Check out the Pioneers website where you can find out more about the project, and why not even get involved?

“The Pioneers Project has given my son the confidence to get back out into social settings, to try new skills, and reintroduce old skills.
It is very much person centred and the support workers take time to build up a rapport and relationship with the young person.”

testimonial taken directly from their website, pretty much sums up the impact they have on the lives of others.


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