Catterick Garrison

Catterick Garrison is a major garrison and military town three miles (5 km) south of Richmond, North Yorkshire, England. It is the largest British Army garrison in the world, with a population of around 13,000 in 2017[1] and covering over 2,400 acres (about 10 km2). Under plans announced by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in November 2005, the population of Catterick Garrison was expected to grow to over 25,000 by 2020, making it the largest population centre in the local area.[2][3]

Catterick Garrison

Single Living Accommodation (SLA) blocks at Catterick.

Badge of Catterick Garrison
Catterick Garrison
Location within North Yorkshire
OS grid referenceSE180980
Civil parish
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtDL9
Dialling code01748
PoliceNorth Yorkshire
FireNorth Yorkshire
EU ParliamentYorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament


The siting of the garrison was first recommended by Robert Baden-Powell who founded the Scouting movement in 1908 whilst he, as Inspector-General of Cavalry, was based at the army barracks—at that time located in Richmond Castle.[4] On 12 August 1914, the order was issued for the construction of the camp, following the outbreak of the First World War. The original intention was for Catterick to be a temporary camp to accommodate two complete divisions with around 40,000 men in 2,000 huts.[5] The base was originally named Richmond Camp but was changed to Catterick Camp in 1915, and later modified to Catterick Garrison. After serving as a prisoner of war camp at the end of the war, the idea to make Catterick a permanent military barracks was first suggested after the partitioning of Ireland in 1921. The required land was purchased and building plans were put forward in 1923. Construction was undertaken by John Laing & Son,[6] and by the mid-1930s most of the camp's facilities were complete. During the Second World War the camp was once again used to house prisoners of war.[7]


The town lies in the Richmondshire district of North Yorkshire, within the Central Richmondshire electoral division of North Yorkshire County Council and divided between the Hipswell and Scotton wards of Richmondshire District Council.[8] The town is divided between two civil parishes. The southern part of the town, south of a small stream known as Leadmill Gill, is in the civil parish of Scotton. The northern part forms the greater part of the civil parish of Hipswell. Each parish has its own parish council. The town is also within the Richmond (Yorks) parliamentary constituency, which has been represented since 2015 by Conservative Rishi Sunak.[9]


Catterick Garrison is located on the A6136 road, connecting Richmond with the A1 road at Catterick Village, 4.7 miles (7.6 km) to the east. Nearby are the suburban settlements of Scotton 1.6 miles (2.6 km) south and Hipswell 0.7 miles (1.1 km) to the east, as well as Colburn, 1.9 miles (3.1 km) to the east.[10]


There is no railway station. Catterick Camp railway station was a terminus station on the Eryholme-Richmond branch line until its closure in 1964; the closest mainline railway stations are now at Northallerton and Darlington; they are equidistant, at 15.9 miles (25.6 km) south-east and north-east respectively. Regular bus services to Richmond and Darlington are operated by Arriva North East; the closest airport is Teesside International Airport, 21.3 miles (34.3 km) north-east.[11]

Community and culture

Lacking a true town centre, the garrison gained its first large supermarket, a Tesco store, in 2000; along with a retail park known as Richmondshire Walk, which also includes a McDonald's, a Poundstretcher and a Peacocks, among others. Catterick Leisure Centre is a purpose-built complex opposite the retail park, opened in July 2009; it offers a broad spectrum of leisure and fitness facilities including a swimming pool and a gym, as well as an adjoining public library.[12][13] Catterick Garrison once had one of Yorkshire's largest cinemas, the Ritz Cinema, which opened on 21 December 1940 and had over 1000 seats. It closed on 2 July 1977 after declining usage; today, the site is used as a health and beauty salon.[14]

Duchess of Kent Hospital was the local military hospital and medical centre; it opened on 6 October 1976 and closed in 1999.[15]

Foxglove Covert, a local nature reserve, was the first of its kind in North Yorkshire and the first to be located on Ministry of Defence (MoD) land in the UK. It covers 100 acres of moorland edge, and was opened in 1992. In 2001 it was declared a Site of Local Nature Conservation Importance (SLNCI).[16] In 2013 a £25 million development scheme for a new town centre was unveiled, to be built on a former sports ground, owned by the MoD. The plan includes space for retail outlets, a cinema, a 60-bedroom hotel and several dining establishments and bars; it is expected to create up to 700 jobs.[17]


Primary education is provided by Carnagill Community Primary School, built in 1966,[18] Wavell School[19] and Le Cateau Community Primary School.[20] There are other nearby schools, not within the garrison area itself, such as Colburn Community Primary School and Hipswell Church of England Primary School that are also used by residents.[21] Pupils then receive secondary education at Risedale Sports and Community College.[22] Alternatively, children may also attend school at Richmond School and Sixth Form College. Darlington College also had a campus at Catterick Garrison.[23]


The three garrison churches are dedicated to St. Joan of Arc,[24] St Aidan, and the Garrison Memorial Church of St Martin and St Oswald.[25]

Garrison Cemetery

Catterick Garrison Cemetery, on the north side of St John's Churchyard in Hipswell, was opened by the War Office in 1930 to serve the camp. Among its graves are those of 42 Commonwealth service personnel of the Second World War and some Polish servicemen.[26]

Previously soldiers from the camp and military hospital were buried in St John's Churchyard, which now contains the war graves of 64 Commonwealth service personnel of the First World War and two of the Second World War.[27]

Ministry of Defence operations

The garrison consists of many different groups of buildings spread over a wide area and includes a number of barracks, most of which are named after historical British Army battles, many of which took place in Northern France during the First World War. They include:

LinesPlaceNamed afterUnitNotes
Wathgill CampLocal geographyOperated by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation which also operates and manages the 20,000-acre (81 km2) training area and ranges adjacent to the Garrison. Wathgill Camp and the surrounding training areas are also routinely used by cadets in both the ACF and CCF.
Bourlon BarracksBourlon Wood, Battle of Cambrai1st Battalion, The Scots Guards.[28] (by July 2020)
The Highlanders, 4th Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland.[29]
Strike Mechanised Infantry
Claro BarracksLocal geography21 Engineer Regiment Royal Engineers.[30]Supporting 1st Strike Brigade
Helles BarracksCape Helles, DardanellesITC Catterick[31]ITC Catterick Support Battalion
1st Infantry Training Battalion
2nd Infantry Training Battalion
222 Military Intelligence
Marne BarracksBattle of the Marne1st Battalion, The Mercian Regiment.[32]
5th Regiment Royal Artillery[33]
Located at the site of the former RAF Catterick.
Alma LinesMunster BarracksBattle of AlmaThe Royal Dragoon GuardsArmoured Cavalry.[32]
Cambrai LinesMunster BarracksBattle of CambraiThe Queen's Royal Lancers[32]Armoured Cavalry.
Megiddo LinesMunster BarracksBattle of Megiddo1 Close Support Battalion REME.[32]
Somme BarracksBattle of the Somme1st Battalion, The Duke of Lancaster's RegimentLight Infantry, rotating to Cyprus[34]
Vimy BarracksBattle of Vimy RidgeHQ School of Infantry
Baghdad LinesFall of Baghdad (1917)7 Training Regiment
Beachhead Lines150 Provost Company.[32]
Loos LinesBattle of Loos1 Training Regiment
Piave LinesBattle of the Piave RiverThe Band of The Royal Armoured Corps

Army 2020 Basing

Under Army 2020, the list will be modified and the units based at Catterick will be:[35]

HQ School of Infantry, Infantry Training Centre

Catterick is the largest of three Infantry Training Centres (ITCs) in the UK. ITC Catterick conducts infantry training combining Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the Combat Infantryman's Course. Junior soldiers destined for the infantry continue to receive Phase 1 training at the Army Foundation College in Harrogate. ITC Catterick is the major user of the Warcop Training Area.

ITC Catterick is also home to the Army School of Ceremony, where recruits learn to take part in the massed bands of the British Army. In 2016–17 the ASC under went a massive change moving from their former school (an old stately home) to a more modern home.



  1. "CATTERICK GARRISON". City Population. 7 June 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  2. "Ministry's £1bn plan to upgrade garrison". The Northern Echo. 30 November 2005. Retrieved 29 July 2007.
  3. "D&S column: making sure facilities match Catterick Garrison's future growth". Rishi Sunak. 7 April 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  4. "Catterick Garrison – About Us". British Army. Archived from the original on 24 February 2013. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  5. "Catterick Garrison's Early History". Archived from the original on 28 June 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  6. Ritchie, p. 57
  7. "Every prisoner of war camp in the UK mapped and listed". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  8. Ordnance Survey Open Viewer
  9. Puri, Anjali (10 August 2015). "UK Cabinet member Rishi Sunak on being British, Indian & Hindu at same time". Business Standard. Archived from the original on 26 July 2019. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  10. "Hello and Welcome". The Churches of Hipswell Parish. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
  11. "Airport's £1.3m revamp approved". BBC News. 6 December 2006. Retrieved 10 March 2007.
  12. "Catterick Leisure Centre". Archived from the original on 4 September 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  13. "Catterick Library". Archived from the original on 16 August 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  14. "Ritz Cinema". Archived from the original on 28 June 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  15. "Memorandum submitted to the Defence Committee by the Ministry of Defence responding to the Committee's Questions on the Defence Medical Services". Hansard. Retrieved 7 December 2019.
  16. "Foxglove Covert". Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  17. "Catterick Town Centre Plans". Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  18. "Carnagill School". Archived from the original on 28 June 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  19. "Wavell School". Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  20. "Le Cateau School". Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  21. "Schools in Catterick". Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  22. "Admission arrangements for the Northallerton area". Secondary school admissions. North Yorkshire County Council. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  23. "Darlington College at Catterick". Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  24. "St. Joan of Arc, Catterick Garrison". Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  25. "Garrison Church of St Martin (later Catterick Garrison Memorial Church), Catterick Camp". National Archives. Retrieved 7 December 2019.
  26. CWGC Cemetery Report Catterick Garrison Cemetery.
  27. CWGC Cemetery Report Hipswell Churchyard.
  28. "Regular unit locations". Ministry of Defence (MoD). Archived from the original on 16 December 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  29. "Turning Catterick into A "Super Garrison"". Forces TV. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  30. "21 Engineer Regiment". British Army. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  31. "ITC Catterick – Battalions". British Army. Archived from the original on 19 April 2012. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  32. "4th Mechanized Brigade". British Army. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  33. "The Yorkshire Gunners". British Army. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  34. "1 LANCS". British Army. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  35. "Army 2010 Report" (PDF). Ministry of Defence.


  • Cole, Howard N. (1972). The Story of Catterick Camp 1915–1972. Headquarters Catterick Garrison.
  • Ritchie, Berry (1997). The Good Builder: The John Laing Story. James & James.
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