Old Barracks

  • Also Known As: Trenton Barracks

  • Address: S Willow St
  • Travel Genus: Sight
  • Sight Category: Building

The Old Trenton Barracks was one of five similar structures built at Burlington, Elizabethtown, Perth Amboy, and New Brunswick to avoid the necessity of forcibly billeting British troops on New Jersey private householders. The other four barracks no longer stand. Constructed of native undressed stone, the U-shaped Trenton Barracks was two-and-one-half stories high and had a narrow two-story balcony running the length of its inner side. The first troops, the Inniskilling Regiment of Foot, occupied the building in December 1758. Soldiers and officers continued to use the barracks during the winter months until the close of the war, May 1763 when British soldiers were no longer needed in the colony. The economy-minded Assembly then ordered the barrack-master to sell the furnishings and rent the building.

The outbreak of the War for Independence brought the Trenton Barracks back to its original purpose. It was occupied by British, German, and American soldiers at various times, depending on who had control of New Jersey and the village of Trenton, then a small town of about 100 houses. The Battle of Trenton was fought around and near the Trenton Barracks, then serving as quarters for 300 Hessian soldiers, in the early morning hours of December 26, 1776. The Barracks was later used as a hospital for sick American soldiers; 600 were brought here after the Siege of Yorktown, in November 1781. - NRHP

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Old Barracks


Y/M/D Person Association Description Composition Food Event
Y/M/D Person Association Description Composition Food Event
1759/03/00 Trenton Barracks, begun on 31 May 1758, and completed in March 1759, is built by the New Jersey General Assembly to provide winter quarters for 300 British troops during the French and Indian War. French and Indian War
1776/12/26 George Washington American Commander in Chief American Continental army captures a garrison of 300 Hessians by surprise. Battle of Trenton
1781/11/00 Trenton Barracks are used as a hospital for 600 sick American soldiers brought here after the Siege of Yorktown. Siege of Yorktown

Data »

Particulars for Old Barracks:
Area of Significance Architecture
Criteria Architecture-Engineering
Sight Category Building
Cultural Affiliation Hessian
Criteria Historic Event
Historic Use Institutional housing
Area of Significance Military
Level of Significance National
Owner State

US National Registry of Historic Places Data »

Accurate at time of registration: 25th January 1971

Registry Name: Old Barracks
Registry Address: S. Willow St.
Registry Number: 71000506
Resource Type: Building
Owner: State
Architect: unknown
Architectural Style: No style listed
Area in Acres: 1
Contributing Buildings: 1
Other Certification: Designated National Landmark
Certification: Listed in the National Register
Nominator Name: National Historic Landmark
Level of Significance: National
Area of Significance: Military, Architecture
Applicable Criteria: Event, Architecture-Engineering
Period of Significance: 1750-1799
Significant Year: c 1758, 1777
Historic Function: Domestic
Historic Sub-Function: Institutional housing
Current Function: Recreation and Culture
Current Sub-Function: Museum

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