Palace Barracks

Palace Barracks, Holywood is a British Army installation in Holywood, County Down, Northern Ireland.

Palace Barracks
Palace Barracks, Holywood - - 6020.jpg
Palace Barracks
Palace Barracks is located in Northern Ireland
Palace Barracks
Palace Barracks
Location within Northern Ireland
Coordinates54°37′25″N 05°48′50″W / 54.62361°N 5.81389°W / 54.62361; -5.81389Coordinates: 54°37′25″N 05°48′50″W / 54.62361°N 5.81389°W / 54.62361; -5.81389
Site information
OwnerMinistry of Defence
Operator British Army
Site history
In use1886 – present
Garrison information
OccupantsThe Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland


Palace Barracks occupies the site of a palatial house known as "Ardtullagh", the home of the Bishop of Down, Connor and Dromore until it was bought by the UK War Office in 1886.[1]

In 1933, six children of Lance Corporal Harry Poole and his wife, Mary, lost their lives from asphyxiation following gas poisoning in the married quarters of the barracks.[2]

During the roughly three decades of "The Troubles" in Northern Ireland, the barracks served as the home base for battalions rotating through the province, especially those on a two-year "accompanied" tour with their families. A wide variety of facilities are available for soldiers to use off duty, including a swimming pool, squash courts, saunas, bars and a gymnasium.[3]

Palace Barracks has been the Regimental Headquarters of the Royal Irish Regiment since 2008 and the home base of several squadrons of the 152 (North Irish) Regiment RLC. In March 2010, it was the site of a bombing,[4] one of several attacks carried out by "hardline Republicans" in 2010; other attacks included the Newry car bombing.[5] Since 2014 it has been the base for the Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland.[6]

It is also the declared headquarters of the MI5 for their investigations into Northern Ireland-related terrorism.[7]

Current unitsEdit

Current units stationed at the camp include:

British ArmyEdit

Royal NavyEdit

Security ServiceEdit

  • Northern Ireland Headquarters[12]


  1. ^ "The History of the Culloden Estate and Spa" (PDF). Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  2. ^ "Palace Barracks Memorial Garden". Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  3. ^ "Army Base Palace Barracks," Domesday Reloaded, BBC website.
  4. ^ Real IRA Claims Barracks Car Bomb Blast Sky News, 12 April 2010.
  5. ^ "Gardaí say dissidents no threat to Britain," Cormac O’Keeffe, Irish Examiner, 18 September 2010.
  6. ^ "Families' anger as Royal Scots Borderers moved". The Scotsman. 7 March 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  7. ^ "MI5 in Northern Ireland". The Security Service. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  8. ^ "Royal Regiment of Scotland". Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  9. ^ "152 (North Irish) Regiment RLC look back on 2016". Reserve Forces & Cadets Association Northern Ireland. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  10. ^ "Royal Irish Regiment". Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  11. ^ "Find a Unit - RFCA NI". Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  12. ^ "Palace Barracks explosion: Major review of security ordered at MI5 base in wake of bomb blast". Belfast Telegraph. 14 August 2015. Retrieved 24 February 2021.