Glencorse Barracks date from 1803, when they were first used to hold prisoners, then known as Greenlaw Military Prison, during the Napoleonic Wars before being bought outright from the private estate on which they stood (1812). The only surviving building from that time is the former Guardroom, which is now the Clocktower. A memorial gateway to the Royal Scots Regiment marks the entrance to the Barracks, though it is no longer in use.
In 1804, Greenlaw House, leased from the Trotters at the Bush, near Roslin, was converted into a depôt for French prisoners of war. Additional buildings were erected in 1813, at a cost of £100,000, to house 6,000 prisoners and their guards. However, the Napoleonic Wars came to an end a year later and the prisoners were sent home.
Most of the prisoners were crews of privateers - nearly 300 men were confined in the mansion house. Ensign Hugh Maxwell was convicted of culpable homicide for the death, in January 1807, of Charles Cottier, a prisoner in Greenlaw House. Maxwell was the commander of a guard of 36 men of the Lanarkshire Militia, who were, at the time, based in Penicuik. He was imprisoned in the Tolbooth at Canongate for 9 months.
A monument which was erected at Valleyfield in memory of those prisoners who died in captivity is now surrounded by houses in this redeveloped area of the river valley.
Nothing remains of Greenlaw House. However, it is thought that the cellars of the Officers' Mess owe their existence to this 17th-century mansion.
Although for a while is it was a Military Prison, the barracks were little used between 1815 and 1875, when they became depôt of the army of the south-east of Scotland, being converted at a cost of £30,000.
For some years, the barracks were the depôt of the Royal Scots. The barracks became the training depôt for the Lowland Brigade in 1964. In 1970, following the formation of the Scottish Division, junior soldiers from the Lowland Brigade moved from Glencorse to Gordon Barracks, in Aberdeen. Adult Highland Brigade recruits moved from Gordon Barracks to The Scottish Division Depôt at Glencorse Barracks on the same day.
Royal Scots corporal Andrew Walker killed three Army colleagues in a payroll robbery in the Pentland Hills, south of Edinburgh, in January 1985. He was jailed for life. All three were stationed in Glencorse barracks.
The barracks closed in 2003 for a £60 million revamp that "Today's soldiers will and should enjoy (-) modern flats, en-suite bedrooms, satellite TV and broadband access - the sort of things that young men and women in civilian society take for granted" - John Reid, defence Secretary, April 2006.
City of Edinburgh Garrison
Glencorse is one of the three barracks comprising the City of Edinburgh Garrison. Today, it is the home for The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland - RHF (2 SCOTS).
Within the City of Edinburgh, Redford Barracks is 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. It is also the location of 51st (Scottish) Brigade's Regional Training Centre, used for all Territorial Army basic training in Scotland, a base for the Headquarters of 52 Brigade as well as housing other administrative functions.
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 east of Edinburgh, will be developed into a major Army base. Additional troops will be stationed in Glencorse Barracks. The first units are expected to move into Glencorse in 2015-16.
- John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles
- Reports of certain remarkable cases in the Court of Session; William Buchanan, 1803
- "Esk Valley Trust". Retrieved 10 June 2011.
- "British Listed Buildings". Retrieved 10 June 2011.
- Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland (1882-4); F.H. Groome
- "Army payroll killer's sentence cut". BBC news. 2002-10-30. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
- "BBC News". 28 April 2006. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
- House of Commons Library: Standard Note:SN06038